V2Catholic.com  A voice for the poor  Edited by HK prison chaplain 
Fr John Wotherspoon O.M.I .
胡頌恆神父    jdwomi@gmail.com   

Links, Search & Archives     Imitating Pope Francis

          

This website's anti-drug campaign  saves people from going to prison in HK     See & share inmates' letters! 
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How campaign began
  HK:how long prison for  trafficking?   www.AsylumSeekerHK.com

Sat April 29

Pope arrives Cairo (Jesus, please him give a safe time in Egypt!) - updates

Rwandan refugee fulfils dream to become soldier in Australian Army

 

The family of a Russian woman in prison in HK have put posted items (in Russian) to try to help catch the Nigerian Drug Lord Felix C. Nnadi who sent the woman and her friend to HK - Here (scroll down to April 27). The woman herself has written yet another letter (in Russian) - at same link

  ZDF profile: Snowden refugees and their HK lawyer Robert Tibbo

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The Book Blog:   4 readings + recordings 
Comments welcome here     
Readings are from Simple Bible

Deuteronomy 32a: The Song of Moses: Listen, O heavens, and I will speak; let the earth hear the words on my lips. May my teaching fall like the rain, my speech descend like the dew, like rain drops on the young green, like showers falling on the grass. For I shall praise the name of the Lord. O give glory to this God of ours! The Rock - his deeds are perfect, and all his ways are just, a faithful God, without deceit, a God who is right and just. 
My recording of this reading

 

Psalm 113: Praise, O friends of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord. May the name of the Lord be blessed both now and for evermore. From the rising of the sun to its setting praised be the name of the Lord. Who is like the Lord our God, above the heavens his glory. From the dust he lifts up the lowly, to put them in the company of royalty. To the childless wife he gives a home and gladdens her heart with children. 
May the Lord be praised from sunrise to sunset


Recording

 

1 Corinthians 12.12-30: A human body is made of many parts: arms, legs, muscles, eyes etc. Every part is important and needed for the body to be healthy. The church is like a body. We are the body's members. Some of us are apostles, some prophets, some teachers etc. The members of the church must care about every member of the church. Everyone is important. The spiritual health of each member affects the health of the whole body. 
Jesus, help me understand how your church is like a human body

Recording



John 2.13-22: Just before the Passover Feast, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the Temple he saw people selling cattle and sheep and pigeons, with money changers sitting at their counting tables. Jesus made a whip out of some cord, then drove the sellers out of the Temple, cattle and sheep as well. He scattered the money changers' coins, knocked their tables over, and said to the pigeon sellers "Take all of this out of here and stop turning my Father's house into a market". Some religious leaders asked him "What sign can you show us to justify what you have done?" Jesus answered "Destroy this sanctuary, and in three days I will raise it up".  The leaders replied "It has taken 46 years to build this sanctuary". But Jesus was speaking of the sanctuary that was his body, and when he rose from the dead, his disciples remembered his words.
Jesus, please don't let churches and prayer centers become centers of commerce

Recording

Reflection on the above readings:

I Corinthians speaks of the Church as Jesus' "mystical" body. In the Gospel, Jesus speaks of his physical body as a sanctuary. Nobody has "body language" like Jesus! 

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Pope Francis: The Joy of Love  - on love in the family
Full English text      Full Chinese text

97: Recording  Love is not boastful: The following word, perpereuetai, denotes vainglory, the need to be haughty, pedantic and somewhat pushy.

Those who love not only refrain from speaking too much about themselves, but are focused on others; they do not need to be the centre of attention.

The word that comes next - physioutai - is similar, indicating that love is not arrogant.

Literally, it means that we do not become "puffed up" before others. 

It also points to something more subtle: an obsession with showing off and a loss of a sense of reality.

Such people think that, because they are more "spiritual" or "wise", they are more important than they really are. 

Paul uses this verb on other occasions, as when he says that "knowledge puffs up", whereas "love builds up" (1 Cor 8:1). 

Some think that they are important because they are more knowledgeable than others; they want to lord it over them.

Yet what really makes us important is a love that understands, shows concern, and embraces the weak.

Elsewhere the word is used to criticize those who are "inflated" with their own importance (cf. 1 Cor 4:18) but in fact are filled more with empty words than the real "power" of the Spirit (cf. 1 Cor 4:19).

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Pope's letter on climate change:  Laudato Si  
我主應受讚美
Full English text       Full Chinese text

57: Recording It is foreseeable that, once certain resources have been depleted, the scene will be set for new wars, albeit under the guise of noble claims.

War always does grave harm to the environment and to the cultural riches of peoples, risks which are magnified when one considers nuclear arms and biological weapons.

"Despite the international agreements which prohibit chemical, bacteriological and biological warfare, the fact is that laboratory research continues to develop new offensive weapons capable of altering the balance of nature".

Politics must pay greater attention to foreseeing new conflicts and addressing the causes which can lead to them. 

But powerful financial interests prove most resistant to this effort, and political planning tends to lack breadth of vision. What would induce anyone, at this stage, to hold on to power only to be remembered for their inability to take action when it was urgent and necessary to do so?

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Pope Francis: The Joy of the Gospel   
Full English text         Full Chinese text

49b: Recording  If something should rightly disturb us and trouble our consciences, it is the fact that so many of our brothers and sisters are living without the strength, light and consolation born of friendship with Jesus Christ, without a community of faith to support them, without meaning and a goal in life.

 More than by fear of going astray, my hope is that we will be moved by the fear of remaining shut up within structures which give us a false sense of security, within rules which make us harsh judges, within habits which make us feel safe, while at our door people are starving and Jesus does not tire of saying to us: "Give them something to eat"

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 A long day for me yesterday at Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre (prison) where I had the chance, with some South American inmates, to speak a little Spanish (I'm doing one lesson a week; now on lesson 4). Emphasis on "a little"! 

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Please join me in praying for one part of the world each day:

Sun: Africa          
Mon:
Europe, Russia           
Tues:
South Asia  
Wed: East Asia                         
Thurs:
S.E. Asia, Pacific 
Frid: South America                   
Sat: Cent. & N America    
Jesus, today, Saturday, please bless the people of Central & North America

And praying for prisoners in one part of China each day of the month: 
On this 29th
of the month,  Jesus please bless the prisoners of Chongqing

And praying for one of the world's poorest countries each day of the month:
On this 29th of the month,  Jesus please bless the people of Mauritania

And praying for one Islam-related intention each day of the week:
Jesus, today, Saturday, please pacify the Taliban

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Frid April 28

Last night I was one of many guests at a function organised by the South African Consulate to celebrate Freedom Day. It was a pleasure to be there and meet so many interesting people, including the new Consul General to Hong Kong. God bless South Africa!

Jesus, please give Pope Francis a safe trip in Egypt today!

An organisation which arranges for people to work as semi-volunteer English teachers in China is looking for more recruits. Please email me if you'd like more info: jdwomi@gmail.com  

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The Book Blog:   4 readings + recordings 
Comments welcome here    
  Readings are from Simple Bible

Joshua 1: God said to Joshua: "I will be with you, as I was with Moses. I will not leave you or abandon you. Be strong and stand firm and be careful to keep all the Law which my servant Moses laid on you. Never swerve from this to right or left, and then you will be happy in all you do. Have the book of this Law always on your lips. Meditate on it day and night, so that you may carefully keep  everything that is written in it. Be fearless, be confident, for wherever you go I the Lord your God am with you." Then Joshua said to the people: "Get ready, for in 3 days you will cross the Jordan River and take possession of the land  which God is giving to you."
Dear God, thank you for the courage and confidence that  you give us
My recording of this reading

 

Psalm 112: Happy are people who love and honor the Lord, who take delight in his commands. The children of such people will be blessed. Such people are a light in the darkness for others. Such people are generous, merciful and just. They take pity and help those in need. They conduct their affairs with  integrity. Open-handed they give to the poor. Their justice and goodness will never be forgotten.
Lord, please help me do more for the poor

Recording

 

1 Corinthians 12.4-10: The Holy Spirit gives us many different gifts. Some people have the gift of wise preaching. Some people have the gift of an extra strong faith. Some people have the gift of healing sick people. Some people have other gifts like the power of miracles, prophecy, recognizing spirits, and the ability to speak in tongues. 
Holy Spirit, please increase your influence in my life. Please give me the gift of (..name...)

Recording


John 2.1-11: Jesus, his mother and his disciples were guests at a wedding at Cana in Galilee. The wine ran out, so Jesus' mother said to him "They have no wine". Jesus replied "Woman, my time for doing special things has not yet come". His mother said to the servants "Do whatever he tells you". There were 6 big containers there, used for holding water. Each could hold about 35 liters. Jesus said to the servants "Fill the containers with water" and they filled them up. Jesus then said "take some out and give it to the man in charge of the banquet".  When the man tasted the water, it had turned to wine. The man called the bridegroom and said "You have kept the best wine until now". This was the first public miracle done by Jesus.
Jesus, help me to do whatever you tell me to do

Recording

Reflection on the above Bible readings:

Abraham, Moses, David and other Old Testament people "bargained" with God. So did Mary. So can we. Jesus in fact tells us to keep on "pestering" him, just like the widow pestered the judge. 

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'It's a war on Christians' - Egypt's beleaguered Copts in sombre mood before papal visit

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Pope Francis: The Joy of Love  - on love in the family
Full English text      Full Chinese text

96: Recording  In a word, love means fulfilling the last two commandments of God's Law: "You shall not covet your neighbour's house; you shall not covet your neighbour's wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbour's" (Ex 20:17).

Love inspires a sincere esteem for every human being and the recognition of his or her own right to happiness.

I love this person, and I see him or her with the eyes of God, who gives us everything "for our enjoyment" (1 Tim 6:17).

As a result, I feel a deep sense of happiness and peace. 

This same deeply rooted love also leads me to reject the injustice whereby some possess too much and others too little. 

It moves me to find ways of helping society's outcasts to find a modicum of joy. 

That is not envy, but the desire for equality.

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Pope's letter on climate change:  Laudato Si  我主應受讚美
Full English text       Full Chinese text

 56: Recording  In the meantime, economic powers continue to justify the current global system where priority tends to be given to speculation and the pursuit of financial gain, which fail to take the context into account, let alone the effects on human dignity and the natural environment.

Here we see how environmental deterioration and human and ethical degradation are closely linked.

Many people will deny doing anything wrong because distractions constantly dull our consciousness of just how limited and finite our world really is. 

As a result, "whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenceless before the interests of a deified market, which become the only rule".

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Pope Francis: The Joy of the Gospel   
Full English text         Full Chinese text

49a: Recording  Let us go forth, then, let us go forth to offer everyone the life of Jesus Christ. 

Here I repeat for the entire Church what I have often said to the priests and laity of Buenos Aires: I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security.

 I do not want a Church concerned with being at the centre and which then ends by being caught up in a web of obsessions and procedures.

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10 years ago today:

Visit to Yunfu by Ricci students & staff - with special thanks to parents of CAS students Samson & Maggie for their kind help

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 At last night's South Africa Consulate gathering, I met a friendly young man who works for Google ...so I told him about the huge pet turtle that used to be based at a stationery (no pun intended) shop in Yau Ma Tei. The turtle, one of the world's slowest creatures, had the name ..."Google"!

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Please join me in praying for one part of the world each day:

Sun: Africa
Mon: Europe, Russia        
Tues:
South Asia  
Wed: East Asia            
Thurs:
S.E. Asia, Pacific 
Frid: S. America     
Sat:
Cent, N. America    
Jesus, today, Friday, please bless the people of South America

And praying for prisoners in one part of China each day of the month: 
On this 28th of the month, Jesus please bless the prisoners of Beijing

And praying for one of
the world's poorest countries each day of the month:
 
On this 28th of the month, Jesus please bless the people of Lesotho

And praying for one Islam-related intention each day of the week:
Jesus, today, Friday, please bless all Muslims

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Thur April 27

Yesterday I was at Tai Lam women's centre (prison) from 9.30am to 5.30pm .... a long but worthwhile day. The good news: no new arrivals from Africa or South America arrested at HK airport this year. (Thank you Jesus!). The bad news: one woman from South America arrested in May last year is due to be sentenced at the High Court today, but she had no chance to join my anti-drug campaign (and get a slight reduction in her sentence) because I met her only yesterday for the first time. Reason: she only just turned 21 and up until a few weeks ago was in a centre for women under 21. I hope the nascent NGO now being formed to continue and expand my work will in the future make sure that all inmates arrested at HK airport will have the chance to join the campaign before sentencing.

 

 
Pope gives TED talk - 'We build future together'

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The Book Blog:   4 readings + recordings 
Comments welcome here    
  Readings are from Simple Bible

Deuteronomy 31: Moses said to the people: "I am 120 years old and can no longer come and go as I will. The Lord has told me I will not cross the Jordan." Moses then said to Joshua in the presence of all the people: "Be strong, stand firm. you are going with this people into the land promised by the Lord. The Lord himself will lead you; he will be with you; he will not fail you or desert you. Have no fear; do not be disheartened by anything."
Dear Lord, please help me remember that you are with me every day. Please don't let anything or anyone dishearten me

My recording of this reading

 

Psalm 111: I will thank the Lord with all my heart. Great are the works of the Lord, to be pondered by all who love him. His goodness stands firm for ever. The Lord is compassion and love. His precepts are for all peoples and all times. He is to be honored by all nations. To love and honor the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
Dear Lord, please help me to love and honor you every day

Recording

 

1 Corinthians 11.20-26: Concerning the Lord's Supper, this is what I received from the Lord and then taught you: On the night he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread, broke it and said "This is my body which will be broken for you". After supper he took a cup and said "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Each time you drink this cup, drink it in memory of me". Until the Lord comes, therefore, each time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you re-enact the death of the Lord. 
Jesus, help me understand how bread and wine become your body and blood when Christians celebrate the Eucharist

Recording


John 1.35-51: John the Baptist told his disciples Andrew and John that Jesus was the Chosen One of God.  Andrew and John then followed Jesus. Andrew took his brother Simon to Jesus. Jesus changed Simon's name to Peter, and Peter followed Jesus. Jesus met  Philip and said to him "Follow me". Philip called one more man, Nathanael (Bartholomew) and said to him "we have found the one Moses and the prophets wrote about. He is Jesus, son of Joseph, from Nazareth". 
Jesus, please help me introduce more people to know and love you
 
Recording

 

Reflection on the above Bible readings:

When someone dies, we go to a funeral service, a funeral Mass, to pray for the deceased person. Today's readings from First Corinthians reminds us that every Mass is a funeral Mass - at which we remember a deceased Person.

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Pope Francis: The Joy of Love  - on love in the family
Full English text      Full Chinese text

95: Recording  Saint Paul goes on to reject as contrary to love an attitude expressed by the verb zeloi  - to be jealous or envious. 

This means that love has no room for discomfiture at another person's good fortune (cf. Acts 7:9; 17:5).

Envy is a form of sadness provoked by another's prosperity; it shows that we are not concerned for the happiness of others but only with our own well-being.

Whereas love makes us rise above ourselves, envy closes us in on ourselves. 

True love values the other person's achievements.

It does not see him or her as a threat. 

It frees us from the sour taste of envy. 

It recognizes that everyone has different gifts and a unique path in life. 

So it strives to discover its own road to happiness, while allowing others to find theirs

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Pope's letter on climate change:  Laudato Si  
我主應受讚美
Full English text       Full Chinese text

55: Recording Some countries are gradually making significant progress, developing more effective controls and working to combat corruption.

People may well have a growing ecological sensitivity but it has not succeeded in changing their harmful habits of consumption which, rather than decreasing, appear to be growing all the more.

A simple example is the increasing use and power of air-conditioning. 

The markets, which immediately benefit from sales, stimulate ever greater demand.

An outsider looking at our world would be amazed at such behaviour, which at times appears self-destructive.

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Pope Francis: The Joy of the Gospel   
Full English text         Full Chinese text

48: Recording  If the whole Church takes up this missionary impulse, she has to go forth to everyone without exception.

But to whom should she go first? 

When we read the Gospel we find a clear indication: not so much our friends and wealthy neighbours, but above all the poor and the sick, those who are usually despised and overlooked, "those who cannot repay you"

There can be no room for doubt or for explanations which weaken so clear a message.

Today and always, "the poor are the privileged recipients of the Gospel"  and the fact that it is freely preached to them is a sign of the kingdom that Jesus came to establish.

We have to state, without mincing words, that there is an inseparable bond between our faith and the poor. May we never abandon them.

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Daniel Daring: Year with Matthew - 17:

Judgment and Discernment

The community of Rome was composed of so-called "strong" Christians of Gentile origin and "weak" Christians of Jewish origin. Both groups passed judgment on each other.

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10 years ago today:

A happy day - May's birthday; visit to Marco Polo & Ricci School by 100 CAS primary sixes & staff + medical college volunteers

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At recent HK meeting of HSBC Directors & shareholders, one director said "we are indebted to our shareholders ..."

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Please join me in praying for one part of the world each day:

Sun: Africa
Mon: Europe, Russia        
Tues:
South Asia  
Wed: East Asia            
Thurs:
S.E. Asia, Pacific 
Frid: South America     
Sat: Cent, N America    
Jesus, today, Thursday, please bless the people of South East Asia

And praying for prisoners in one part of China each day of the month:
On this 27th of the month, Jesus please bless the prisoners of Tibet

And praying for one of the world's poorest countries each day of the month:
On this 27th of the month, Jesus please bless the people of Uganda

And praying for one Islam-related intention each day of the week:
Jesus, today, Thursday, please pacify Al-Qaeda

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Wed April 26

Letter from a young HK Nepal man - describing the drug problem afflicting his generation ...."15 of my friends have died".
Here (April 24)

  Abortion proving Democrats outdo Republicans in self-destruction
The expulsion of pro-life candidates may doom the Democrats to minority status.

Yesterday, thanks to the kind help of some HK friends, I was able to help secure the release on bail of a Kenyan woman facing a small charge. Lady stayed last night at the new women's emergency shelter of "MercyHK", a nascent NGO formed to provide accommodation for special people. I accompanied the lady from the High Court detention centre to the shelter .... a very special experience being with someone who has just come out of detention. Thank you Jesus!

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  Chris McDonnell 

Hey you, stop being so critical!
Being critical can, in fact, be a sign of sincere friendship

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The Book Blog:   4 readings + recordings 
Comments welcome here     
Readings are from Simple Bible

Deuteronomy 29-30d: I call heaven and earth to witness against you today: I set before you life or death, blessing or curse. Choose life, then, so that you and your descendants may live in the love of the Lord your God, obeying his voice, clinging to him. For in this your life consists, and on this depends your long stay in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob he would give them." 
Dear Lord, please help more and more people to choose life and blessings...and not to turn their backs on you

My recording of this reading

 

Psalms 109-110: O God whom I praise, do not be silent, for people are bombarding me with  words of hate. They speak to me with lying tongues and attack me without cause. They repay me evil for good. While I pray for them,  they show me hatred. I have become an object of scorn. Help me, Lord my God. 
Lord, when people are unkind to me, please give me the grace to pray for them

Recording

 

1 Corinthians 10.16-11.1: The cup that we bless is a communion with the blood of Christ. The bread that we break is a communion with the body of Christ. Avoid anything to do with idol worship.  It doesn't make sense to share in the table of the Lord and in the table of demons. Whatever you eat, whatever you drink, whatever you do at all, do it for the glory of God. Never do anything offensive to anyone. Try to be helpful to everyone at all times, not anxious for your own advantage, but for the advantage of others, so that they may be saved. Take me for your model, as I take Christ. 
Jesus, please help me imitate you in my daily life

Recording


John 1.5, 19-34: John the Baptist was sent by God as a witness to the people about the presence of the Word among them. When religious leaders asked John "Who are you?", he replied "I am, as the prophet Isaiah prophesied, a voice crying out: make a straight way for the Lord". When Jesus came to the river Jordan where John was baptizing, John said "Look, there is the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. He is far more important than I am, because he existed (as the Word) before I was born. I saw the Holy Spirit come down on him like a dove. He will baptize people with the Holy Spirit.  He is the Chosen One of God"
Jesus, lamb of God, Chosen One of God, please baptize me with the Holy Spirit

 
Recording

 

 Reflection on the above readings: 

In today's first reading, Moses tells us to choose life. In the story from US at top of this menu, the Democratic Party is saying if you choose life you cannot be a Democratic candidate. c.f. Pope John Paul II's words: "We are facing an enormous and dramatic clash between good and evil, death and life, the 'culture of death' and the 'culture of life'. We find ourselves not only faced with but necessarily in the midst of this conflict: we are all involved and we all share in it, with the inescapable responsibility of choosing to be unconditionally pro-life" (Evangelium Vitae)

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Pope Francis: The Joy of Love  - on love in the family
Full English text      Full Chinese text

94: Recording  Throughout the text, it is clear that Paul wants to stress that love is more than a mere feeling.

Rather, it should be understood along the lines of the Hebrew verb "to love"; it is "to do good". 

As Saint Ignatius of Loyola said, "Love is shown more by deeds than by words".

It thus shows its fruitfulness and allows us to experience the happiness of giving, the nobility and grandeur of spending ourselves unstintingly, without asking to be repaid, purely for the pleasure of giving and serving.

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Pope's letter on climate change:  Laudato Si  我主應受讚美
Full English text       Full Chinese text

54: Recording  It is remarkable how weak international political responses have been. 

The failure of global summits on the environment make it plain that our politics are subject to technology and finance. 

There are too many special interests, and economic interests easily end up trumping the common good and manipulating information so that their own plans will not be affected. 

The Aparecida Document urges that "the interests of economic groups which irrationally demolish sources of life should not prevail in dealing with natural resources".

The alliance between the economy and technology ends up sidelining anything unrelated to its immediate interests. 

Consequently the most one can expect is superficial rhetoric, sporadic acts of philanthropy and perfunctory expressions of concern for the environment, whereas any genuine attempt by groups within society to introduce change is viewed as a nuisance based on romantic illusions or an obstacle to be circumvented.

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Pope Francis: The Joy of the Gospel   
Full English text         Full Chinese text

47: Recording  The Church is called to be the house of the Father, with doors always wide open.

One concrete sign of such openness is that our church doors should always be open, so that if someone, moved by the Spirit, comes there looking for God, he or she will not find a closed door.

There are other doors that should not be closed either.

Everyone can share in some way in the life of the Church; everyone can be part of the community, nor should the doors of the sacraments be closed for simply any reason.

This is especially true of the sacrament which is itself "the door": baptism. 

And the Eucharist, although it is the fullness of sacramental life, is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.

These convictions have pastoral consequences that we are called to consider with prudence and boldness.

Frequently, we act as arbiters of grace rather than its facilitators.

But the Church is not a tollhouse; it is the house of the Father, where there is a place for everyone, with all their problems.

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 Oops! Chinese defence ministry's big Photoshop fail

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Please join me in praying for one part of the world each day:

Sun: Africa
Mon: Europe, Russia         
Tues: South Asia  
Wed: East Asia      
Thurs:
S.E.Asia, Pacific 
Frid: South America    
Sat:
Cent, N America    
Jesus, today, Wednesday, please bless the people of
East Asia

And praying for prisoners in one part of China each day of the month:
On this 26th
of the month, Jesus please bless the prisoners of Xinjiang

And praying for one of the world's poorest countries each day of the month:
On this 26th of the month, Jesus please bless the people of Togo

And praying for one Islam-related intention each day of the week:
Jesus, today,
Wednesday, please pacify
Al-Shabaab 

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Tues April 25

Holiday today for Anzac Day (my 2012 article)

It's time for Pope to get tough on Venezuela

Sewing Hope - the remarkable story of a 12 year old boy who makes bears for sick children (with text - excellent for English)

Yesterday I had a most encouraging 3-hour meeting with an Indonesian journalist based in HK. Much good on the agenda. Thank you Jesus!

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The Book Blog:   4 readings + recordings 
Comments welcome here     
Readings are from Simple Bible

For today's Feast of St. Mark

Mark 14.48-52: Jesus said to them "Am I a robber that you needed to capture me with swords and clubs? Day after day I was openly teaching in the Temple". All the apostles then deserted him and ran away. A young man who followed Jesus had nothing on but a linen cloth. They caught hold of him, but he left the cloth in their hands and ran away naked.
My recording of this reading

 

Acts 15.36-40: Some time after this, Paul said to Barnabas "Let's revisit the towns where we preached the word of the Lord". Barnabas suggested taking John Mark with them, but Paul opposed this, since John Mark had deserted them on the previous trip when the situation became dangerous. After a violent argument, Paul and Barnabas split up. Barnabas went with John Mark to Cyprus. Silas joined Paul for his next journey. 
Recording

 

Colossians 4.10: Aristarchus, who is here in prison with me, sends his greetings, and so does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas. If he comes to you give him a warm welcome.
Recording


1 Peter 5.13: Your sister in Babylon sends you greetings; so does my son Mark
Recording

 

Reflection on the above readings:

Mark in his youth was good at running ... running away from danger (Gospel and Acts, above). But his feet were eventually right in the danger zone that was Rome. We can also note that not all scholars agree that "Mark" in the above 4 readings is the same person. See Mark the Evangelist

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Pope Francis: The Joy of Love  - on love in the family
Full English text      Full Chinese text

92: Recording  Being patient does not mean letting ourselves be constantly mistreated, tolerating physical aggression or allowing other people to use us. 

We encounter problems whenever we think that relationships or people ought to be perfect, or when we put ourselves at the centre and expect things to turn out our way. 

Then everything makes us impatient, everything makes us react aggressively. 

Unless we cultivate patience, we will always find excuses for responding angrily.

We will end up incapable of living together, antisocial, unable to control our impulses, and our families will become battlegrounds.

That is why the word of God tells us: "Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamour and slander be put away from you, with all malice" (Eph 4:31).

Patience takes root when I recognize that other people also have a right to live in this world, just as they are.

It does not matter if they hold me back, if they unsettle my plans, or annoy me by the way they act or think, or if they are not everything I want them to be.

Love always has an aspect of deep compassion that leads to accepting the other person as part of this world, even when he or she acts differently than I would like.

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Pope's letter on climate change:  Laudato Si  我主應受讚美
Full English text       Full Chinese text

53: Recording:  These situations have caused sister earth, along with all the abandoned of our world, to cry out, pleading that we take another course.

Never have we so hurt and mistreated our common home as we have in the last two hundred years. 

Yet we are called to be instruments of God our Father, so that our planet might be what he desired when he created it and correspond with his plan for peace, beauty and fullness.

The problem is that we still lack the culture needed to confront this crisis. 

We lack leadership capable of striking out on new paths and meeting the needs of the present with concern for all and without prejudice towards coming generations.

The establishment of a legal framework which can set clear boundaries and ensure the protection of ecosystems has become indispensable; otherwise, the new power structures based on the techno-economic paradigm may overwhelm not only our politics but also freedom and justice.

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Pope Francis: The Joy of the Gospel   
Full English text         Full Chinese text

46: Recording  A Church which "goes forth" is a Church whose doors are open

Going out to others in order to reach the fringes of humanity does not mean rushing out aimlessly into the world.

Often it is better simply to slow down, to put aside our eagerness, in order to see and listen to others, to stop rushing from one thing to another and to remain with someone who has faltered along the way. 

At times we have to be like the father of the prodigal son, who always keeps his door open so that when the son returns, he can readily pass through it.

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To go with bear story, at top of this menu:

 2014-10-23Mong-Kong-7bears.jpg (374965 bytes)

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Please join me in praying for one part of the world each day:

Sun: Africa
Mon: Europe, Russia
Tues: South Asia  
Wed: East Asia
Thurs: S.E. Asia, Pacific 
Frid: South America
Sat: Cent, N America    
Jesus, today, Tuesday, please bless the people of South Asia

And praying for prisoners in one part of China each day of the month:
On this 25th
of the month, Jesus please bless the prisoners of Ningxia

And praying for one of the world's poorest countries each day of the month:
On this 25th of the month,  Jesus please bless the people of Comoros

And praying for one Islam-related intention each day of the week:
Jesus, today, Tuesday, please pacify Boko Haram

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Mon April 24 

The Russian woman featured on yesterday's menu, below, has written a new letter (in English) about her experience of imprisonment in HK. Pages 2 and 3 of her new letter, at the bottom of this link, powerfully describe her distress at being in prison.

Pope likens migrant holding centres to 'concentration camps'

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The Book Blog:   4 readings + recordings 
Comments welcome here     
Readings are from Simple Bible

Deuteronomy 29-30c: See, today I set before you life and prosperity, death and disaster. If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God, if you love the Lord your God and follow his ways, if you keep his commandments, his laws, his customs, you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you are entering to make your own. But if your heart strays, if you refuse to listen, if you let yourself be drawn into worshipping other gods and serving them, I tell you today, you will most certainly perish; you will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.
My recording of this reading

 

Psalm 108: My heart is ready, O God. I will sing, sing your praise. Awake, lyre and harp. I will awake the dawn. I will thank you, Lord, among the peoples, praise you among the nations, for your love reaches to the heavens and your truth to the skies. O Lord, come and deliver us today. Help us with your right hand. Give us help in difficult situations. With your help we shall be brave.
Lord, we need your help every day

Recording

 

1 Corinthians 9.12-27: I put up with anything, rather than obstruct the Good News of Christ in any way. I make myself all things to all people, in order to save some. All the runners at the stadium are trying to win, but only one of them gets the prize. You must run in the same way, meaning to win the gold medal of eternal life. That is how I run, intent on winning. Therefore I try to stay in top condition, avoiding sloppy living. 
Jesus, may I run a good race till my last day
Recording


John 1.1-14: From all eternity the Word existed. The Word was with God the Father. The Word was God the Son. The Word was the source of life for all creatures. The Word became a man, and lived among us. We saw his glory, full of grace and truth. Many people did not recognize and did not accept the Word. But to everyone who did accept him, he gave power to become children of God.
Jesus, please help me understand how you are the Word-made-flesh

Recording


(In the beginning was the Word)

 

Reflection on the above readings:

St Paul, above, says life is like a race. Yes ....the human race!

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Updates from Sr. Anastasia, M.M. (黄修女) 01 02
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Pope Francis: The Joy of Love  - on love in the family
Full English text      Full Chinese text

85: Recording  The Church is called to cooperate with parents through suitable pastoral initiatives, assisting them in the fulfilment of their educational mission. 

She must always do this by helping them to appreciate their proper role and to realize that by their reception of the sacrament of marriage they become ministers of their children's education.

In educating them, they build up the Church, and in so doing, they accept a God-given vocation

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Pope's letter on climate change:  Laudato Si  
我主應受讚美
Full English text       Full Chinese text

52b: Recording  The poorest areas and countries are less capable of adopting new models for reducing environmental impact because they lack the wherewithal to develop the necessary processes and to cover their costs.

We must continue to be aware that, regarding climate change, there are differentiated responsibilities

As the United States bishops have said, greater attention must be given to "the needs of the poor, the weak and the vulnerable, in a debate often dominated by more powerful interests".

We need to strengthen the conviction that we are one single human family.

There are no frontiers or barriers, political or social, behind which we can hide, still less is there room for the globalization of indifference.

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Pope Francis: The Joy of the Gospel   
Full English text         Full Chinese text

45: Recording  We see that the task of evangelization operates within the limits of language and of circumstances

It constantly seeks to communicate more effectively the truth of the Gospel in a specific context, without renouncing the truth, the goodness and the light which it brings  

A missionary heart is aware of these limits and makes itself "weak with the weak ... everything for everyone".  

It never closes itself off, never retreats into its own security, never opts for rigidity and defensiveness

It realizes that it has to grow in its own understanding of the Gospel and in discerning the paths of the Spirit, and so it always does what good it can, even if in the process, its shoes get soiled by the mud of the street.

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  One of the hardest working women in HK is "A-Mei". As I walked past her shop yesterday afternoon on the way to St Paul's for the 3pm prayer meeting, I noticed her husband in her shop, reading a newspaper. I thought to myself "what a good man ...keeping his wife company as she works". Then as I saw the usual big crowd of men outside the nearby Jockey Club (Sunday horse racing) the penny fell: he was reading the horse racing page ... and was strategically placed for quick visits to the betting shop!

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Please join me in praying for one part of the world each day:

Sun: Africa 
Mon: Europe, Russia
Tues: South Asia  
Wed: East Asia 
Thurs: S.E. Asia, Pacific 
Frid: South America
Sat: Cent, N. America   
  
Jesus, today, Monday, please bless the people of Europe & Russia

And praying for prisoners in one part of China each day of the month:
On this 24th of the month, Jesus please bless the prisoners of Inner Mongolia

And praying for one of the world's poorest countries each day of the month: 
On this 24th of the month, Jesus please bless the people of Zambia

And praying for one Islam-related intention each day of the week:
Jesus, today,
Monday, please pacify I.S.

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Sun April 23

Yesterday, thanks to some information from Russia (... Donald Trump's not the only one with friends in Russia ...) I was able to post photos of the Nigerian Drug Lord in Thailand who recruited women from Russia to go to South America and take drugs to HK. Photos and story of what happened are here. I also put a post on Nigeria's no. 1 blog, Nairand - here - which in less than one day had more than 300 views. This job is being done in the hope that such publicity will stop other people becoming drug mules, and will help the two Russian women when they are sentenced at the HK High Court this coming Wednesday, April 26.

Also posted yesterday is a photo of HK's No. 1 Nigerian Drug Lord - "Nonso"- here 

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The Book Blog:   4 readings + recordings 
Comments welcome here     
Readings are from Simple Bible

c.f. "Easter 2"

Acts 2.37-47: The crowd was deeply moved by Peter's words, and asked "What should we do?" Peter replied "You must repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then you too will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit". That day about 3,000 people were baptized. These remained faithful to the teaching of the apostles, to a life of sharing and caring, to the Breaking of Bread, and to prayer. Many miracles were worked by the apostles, and this made a deep impression on everyone. Each day the Lord added new members to their group. 
Jesus, please help me remain faithful to the Christian way of life
My recording of this reading

 

Psalm 118: Give thanks to the Lord for he is good. His love has no end. Let the sons of Israel say: "His love has no end." Let those who honor the Lord say: "His love has no end." It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes. I was falling, falling, falling, but the Lord was my helper. The Lord is my strength and my song. He is my saviour. The Lord's right hand has triumphed. His right hand has raised me up. I shall not die, I shall live and recount all his deeds. The stone which the builders rejected has become the corner stone. This is the work of the Lord, a marvel in our eyes. This day was made by the Lord. We rejoice and are glad.
Lord, we give thanks to you, for you are good.  Your love has no end

Recording

 

1 Peter 1.3-9: Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In his great mercy, he has made us his children. He has prepared a place in heaven for us to live with him forever. This is a cause of great joy for you, even though life in this world has many trials. You did not see Jesus, yet you love him, and you believe in him. Faith gives you confidence to look forward to the salvation of your souls. 
Jesus, I have never seen you with my physical eyes, but I love you and believe in you

Recording


John 20.21-29: That same Sunday evening, the doors were locked in the room where the disciples had gathered, for fear of the religious leaders. But Jesus appeared and stood before them, saying "Peace be with you". He showed them his hands and his side and said "As the Father sent me, so I am sending you". Then he breathed on them, saying "Receive the Holy Spirit". Thomas, one of the 12 apostles, was not there that night. When the other disciples said they had seen the Lord, he replied "Unless I see and touch his wounded body, I refuse to believe". Eight days later, the group was again in the same house, with the doors locked. This time Thomas was with them. Jesus again appeared and stood before them saying "Peace be with you". Then he said to Thomas "Put your hand into my side. Doubt no longer, but believe".  Thomas replied "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said "You believe because you can see me. Blessed are those who have not seen me and yet believe".
Jesus, my Lord and my God, I believe in you. Help me live and grow and die in your friendship

Recording 01 02

 

 Reflection on the above readings: Video commentary on today's readings - in Spanish with English subtitles

Pope Francis (Joy of Gospel 270):Sometimes we are tempted to be that kind of Christian who keeps the Lord's wounds at arm's length

Yet Jesus wants us to touch human misery, to touch the suffering flesh of others. 

He hopes that we will stop looking for those personal or communal niches which shelter us from the maelstrom of human misfortune and instead enter into the reality of other people's lives and know the power of tenderness.

Whenever we do so, our lives become wonderfully (interconnected) and we experience intensely what it is to be a people, to be part of a people

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Pope Francis: The Joy of Love  - on love in the family
Full English text      Full Chinese text

71: Recording  "Scripture and Tradition give us access to a knowledge of the Trinity, which is revealed with the features of a family.

The family is the image of God, who is a communion of persons. 

At Christ's baptism, the Father's voice was heard, calling Jesus his beloved Son, and in this love we can recognize the Holy Spirit (cf. Mk 1:10-11). 

Jesus, who reconciled all things in himself and redeemed us from sin, not only returned marriage and the family to their original form, but also raised marriage to the sacramental sign of his love for the Church 

In the human family, gathered by Christ, 'the image and likeness' of the Most Holy Trinity (cf. Gen 1:26) has been restored, the mystery from which all true love flows.

Through the Church, marriage and the family receive the grace of the Holy Spirit from Christ, in order to bear witness to the Gospel of God's love".

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Pope's letter on climate change:  Laudato Si  我主應受讚美
Full English text       Full Chinese text

52a: Recording  The foreign debt of poor countries has become a way of controlling them, yet this is not the case where ecological debt is concerned. 

In different ways, developing countries, where the most important reserves of the biosphere are found, continue to fuel the development of richer countries at the cost of their own present and future.

The land of the southern poor is rich and mostly unpolluted, yet access to ownership of goods and resources for meeting vital needs is inhibited by a system of commercial relations and ownership which is structurally perverse.

The developed countries ought to help pay this debt by significantly limiting their consumption of non-renewable energy and by assisting poorer countries to support policies and programs of sustainable development.

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Pope Francis: The Joy of the Gospel   
Full English text         Full Chinese text

44: Recording  Pastors and the lay faithful who accompany their brothers and sisters in faith or on a journey of openness to God must always remember what the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches quite clearly: "Imputability and responsibility for an action can be diminished or even nullified by ignorance, inadvertence, duress, fear, habit, inordinate attachments, and other psychological or social factors".

Consequently, without detracting from the evangelical ideal, they need to accompany with mercy and patience the eventual stages of personal growth as these progressively occur.

I want to remind priests that the confessional must not be a torture chamber but rather an encounter with the Lord's mercy which spurs us on to do our best.

A small step, in the midst of great human limitations, can be more pleasing to God than a life which appears outwardly in order but moves through the day without confronting great difficulties. Everyone needs to be touched by the comfort and attraction of God's saving love, which is mysteriously at work in each person, above and beyond their faults and failings.

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Hour of Love HK radio program 8.30 pm HK time tonight - with items about HK prison inmates

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To go with today's Gospel about Thomas:

  

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Please join me in praying for one part of the world each day:

Sun: Africa
Mon: Europe, Russia 
Tues: South Asia  
Wed: East Asia
Thurs: S.E. Asia, Pacific 
Fri: South America
Sat: Cent., N America    
Jesus, today, Sunday, please bless the people of Africa

And praying for prisoners in one part of China each day of the month:
On this 23rd of the month, Jesus please bless the prisoners of Guangxi

And praying for one of the world's poorest countries each day of the month:
On this 23rd of the month, Jesus please bless the people of Djibouti

And praying for one Islam-related intention each day of the week:
Jesus, today, Sunday, please bless all Muslims in my country

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Please also join me in praying for the very many deformed and handicapped people from China who are on the streets of HK as beggars...as well as deformed people in China itself ...like Hung Chun Cai

        
    My Africa trips: 
2015: Tanzania, Malawi  

2016: Kenya, Uganda

2017: Southern Africa, Dubai

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Video: What "gay marriage" did to Massachusetts

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Pope's surprise visit to drug treatment centre

Pope is practising what he preaches: "get out and mix with the poor"

 

HK readers might like to join me in praying each day for one group of HK prison inmates: Sun: Lo Wu; Mon: C.I.C., Siu Lam, Tai Lam; Tue: Stanley Wed:  Hei Ling Chau   Thu: Lantau 
Fri: Lai Chi Kok       Sat: Hospitals, Pik Uk & other centres


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This website was launched  in construction mode in Hong Kong on November 20, 2011 - the Feast of Christ the King. The official launching  was held on the Gold Coast, Australia, on January 20, 2012. Map and Flag Counter began Feb 11, 2012.  Previous visits 4,932. Note: counter on this page + Map & Flag Counter record visits only to this main/index page. Visits to other pages and to Facebook page are not recorded. This site's 2017 statistics. Thank you for checking this website each day. God bless all readers and bloggers!                          counter for tumblr    

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 Fr John Wotherspoon O.M.I. 胡 頌 恆 神 父   
 jdwomi@gmail.com  HK mobile  (852) 6709 5674
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PO Box 74013 Kowloon Central Post Office, Hong Kong                      

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