A Catholic Monthly Magazine

Truth, Justice, Miracles and China

The Church must preach Truth and Justice        VIS 15/7/2012

The first instruction concerns the spirit of detachment: the Apostles must not be attached to money and comforts. Jesus warns the disciples that they will not always receive a favourable welcome: at times they will be rejected, and may also be persecuted. But that should not affect them: they must speak in the name of Jesus and preach the Kingdom of God, without worrying about success. They must leave the outcome in the hands of God.

“The first reading presented the same perspective, showing us that often God’s messengers are not well received. This is the case of the prophet Amos (who) preached with great energy against injustice, especially denouncing the abuses of the king and chiefs, abuses that offend the Lord, and render acts of worship vain. ... But, whether accepted or rejected, Amos continued to prophesy, preaching what God says and not what people wanted to hear. This remains the mandate of the Church: she does not preach what the powerful want to hear. Her criterion is truth and justice, even if that garners no applause and collides with human power”.

“The other very important indication of the Gospel is that the Twelve must not be content to preach conversion: their preaching must be accompanied, according to the instructions and example given by Jesus, by the bodily and spiritual care of the sick. He speaks of the concrete curing of diseases, ... of purifying the human mind, ... of cleaning the eyes of the soul that are obscured by ideology and therefore cannot see God, cannot see truth and justice. ... The apostolic mission must always include two aspects: preaching the word of God and manifesting His goodness with acts of charity, service and dedication”.

Miracles Signs of love not shows of power
VIS 8/7/2012

In this context, the Holy Father mentioned the phrase “Nemo propheta in patria”, meaning no one is a prophet in his own land. This, he said, “is understandable because their human familiarity made it hard for them to go further and open themselves to the divine dimension. It was difficult for them to believe that this son of a carpenter was the Son of God”, while Jesus Himself drew on the example of the prophets of Israel who were likewise disdained. Because of this spiritual closure in Nazareth, “Jesus ‘could do no deeds of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them’. Indeed, the miracles of Christ were not a show of power, but signs of God’s love, which is realised wherever it finds reciprocity in the faith of man”.

“The astonishment and scandal of His fellow citizens was met with amazement on the part of Jesus. In a certain sense, He too was scandalised. Although He knew that no prophet is accepted in his own land, yet His own people’s closure of heart was something obscure and impenetrable to Him. How was it possible that they did not recognise the light of Truth? Why did they not open to the goodness of God who chose to share our humanity?. The man Jesus of Nazareth is the transparency of God, God dwells in Him fully and, while we always seek other signs, other prodigies, we do not realise that the true sign is Him, God made flesh. He is the greatest miracle of the universe: all the love of God contained in a human heart and a human face”.

Statement on Events in China VIS 10/7/2012

The Apostolic See, trusting in the concrete willingness of the Government Authorities of China to dialogue with the Holy See, hopes that the said authorities will not encourage gestures contrary to such dialogue. Chinese Catholics also wish to see practical steps taken in this direction, the first among which is the avoidance of illicit celebrations and episcopal ordinations without pontifical mandate that cause division and bring suffering to the Catholic communities in China and the universal Church.

The ordination of the Reverend Thaddeus Ma Daqin as Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Shanghai on Saturday 7 July 2012 is encouraging and is to be welcomed. The presence of a bishop who is not in communion with the Holy Father was inappropriate and shows a lack of consideration for a lawful episcopal ordination”.

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