Sunday, July 29, 2018

Connected. Created. (2018-07-29, Sunday-17)

29  July 2018    /   17th Sunday Ordinary Time, Year B

•• 2 Kings 4:42-44   •• Ephesians 4:1-6   •• + John 6:1-15  ••       Title:  Connected. Created. (Soccer, Thailand, Humanae Vitae)

[__01.01__]    In this reflection on the miracle, I’d like to touch on the:
·        Recent inspiring example of what happened in Thailand, the rescue of the boys from the cave.
·        A challenging church teaching.
·        A return to Thailand to conclude.
[__01.02__]    It was a miracle that there were both loaves (bread) and fishes left over after the feeding of the 5,000 by Jesus. This was not only a nice
[►CONNECTION]  there was also  new life & [►CREATIVITY] .
            The miracle –new life of the miracle brings both a CONNECTION & & SATISFIED FOLLOWERS (who were previously hungry) and CREATIVITY of new benefits, so much abundance.
            We might see this abundance, God’s  blessing to us.
            This abundant CREATIVITY is also signified in God’s mercy for us … that we can always turn to him for forgiveness and that he lays down his life for our sins, no matter how guilty or ashamed we might feel. This is God’s abundant blessing, what is always remaining.  This mercy connects and creates and re-creates us.
[__01.03__]    In Thailand – in southeast Asia – there was a beautiful moment of CONNECTION + CREATIVITY,  for the boys who were trapped.
            The 12 soccer players and their coach rescued in mid-July of the boys, the soccer team in Thailand, who were trapped 17 days underground (6 miles) in a cave. At first, it seemed they might be there for much longer.
            That any of the 12 of the young players + their coach – 13 team members in all – were rescued would have been  a good CONNECTION, given the conditions, that they were all rescued alive and healthy is a sign of ingenuity and CREATIVITY, an abundance of good fortune, of new life.
[__02__]    I’d like to reflect on the aspiration and hope we all have not only for CONNECTIONS  in life but also for a CREATIVITY.
[__03__]    This year, 2018, marks the the 50th anniversary of an important church teaching of about family life, married life, family planning and the importance of love and life.
          This is Paul VI’s teaching published as Humanae Vitae in 1968.
          Pope Paul VI was teaching us, reminding us of the Christian and Catholic tradition of natural family planning over and against artificial birth control and pharmaceutical contraception.
          This was a teaching to help us to connect, to connect to each other and God’s creative power in all of us. Pope Paul VI does not suggest that couples should have as many children as possible but that it is by natural means that we CONNECT to our spouse and that we can create –  and PROCREATE the life which God has planned.
          Through this, we come to know the full abundance of God’s plan for our lives.            Love leads to new life.
[__04__]    CREATIVITY. The Catholic/Christian ethic/morality of the dignity of life reminds us that no human person possesses or owns another – we don’t even really ‘create’ another person. God creates, we participate and procreate and care for the gift of children and life which God has already planned.
          This calls all of us to CREATIVITY and cooperation (teamwork !) .  I hope and pray that our LOURDES parish family will be a support to many families, that we as mothers, as fathers, as grandparents and families can help each other to PRAY together, STAY together, PLAY together, and if we STRAY … we can come back together for the abundance of God’s mercy.
 [__05__]    In the Thailand rescue, the saving of the boys from the cave, there were 2 aspects that helped them to survive, when it seemed that all was lost. They are also 2 aspects that we need.
          The boys demonstrated [TRANQUILITY] or peacefulness and the gift of [►TRANSLATION] or cooperation, when all seemed to be lost, when they were lost.
          We also need
          TRANQUILITY – What did we see as the first YouTube from the cave? They were video-taped praying, meditating…. In the cave, in total darkness.  (In Gospel today, we read that Jesus withdrew – in tranquility – to be alone). It’s great that we are here on Sunday morning to pray – a great Catholic tradition to pray early in the morning. To follow the Gospel, we need quiet, stillness, TRANQUILITY, to CONNECT + CONNECT THE DOTS.
          Besides TRANQUILITY, there was TRANSLATION.
          TRANSLATION.  Surely, the coach had to translate this absolutely unfamiliar cave for the boys, to give them the truth but also give them hope – to be – I am sure - a father, a mother, a leader, a psychologist, and a nurse + physician, and a … translator.
          But, they also needed an actual bilingual translator and there was only 1 boy – 11 years old - who could speak English and CONNECT w/ the British / English-speaking divers who found them.
          We need others to guide us and lead us and challenge us.    We also need “translation” at times. Translation of what we think is real to what is actually real.
          Do we not need our spouses – and our children --- help us – even when they do not say a word – help us to know what is real and important?  We delight in having the world seen and translated by a child.  A child notices things we do not see; declares thing we do not say.  That’s a successful translation and new life !
          With this TRANQUILITY, there was TRANSLATION, there could also be TEAMWORK … the  harmonious, international cooperation that led to the rescue.
          I hope and pray the Jesus’ teaching and the Catholic teaching on your life and my life reminds us that we are loved, that we are the GOAL of God’s love and called to make others the GOAL of our love.
            Connected. Created. [__fin__]

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