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! 
HK   Indon   Kenya   Nigeria   Phil   S.A.   S.Amer   Thail   Tanz   Ug   EU
How campaign began
  HK:how long prison for  trafficking?   www.AsylumSeekerHK.com 

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Thu Aug 24

 

A special welcome to new HK readers who these days are checking this website for the first time! I hope you have a chance to see some of the hundreds of letters from people in prison in HK .... at the flag websites linked at the top of this page. Associated with those letters are about 30 "Big Fish" ...Drug Lords ....who are connected with drugs coming into Hong Kong. 
Mug shots of the 30 Big Fish are here. This little website seeks to name and shame the Big Fish ....and to warn others not to be tricked by them ....and to encourage authorities to take action against them (...many of them are "informers").

 

 
High waves lash HK as typhoon drenches city
and a YMT tree felled yesterday

 

Beautiful songs with lyrics - great for English students: Relaxation Hymns No. 7

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

Ezra 8-10: Before the Jews  left Babylon, Ezra had organized them to pray and fast for a safe journey. When the Jews reached Jerusalem, Ezra dissolved any marriages that had been arranged with foreign women  while the Jews were in Babylon. 
Dear God, please help us to remember to pray for safety each time we set out on a journey.
My recording of this reading

 

 

Psalm 102: O Lord, listen to my prayer in my distress. Do not hide your face from me. For my days are vanishing like smoke, my bones burn away like a fire. I forget to eat my bread. My skin clings to my bones. All day long my foes revile me. Those who hate me use my name as a curse. But you, O Lord, will endure for ever. You will arise and have mercy on Sion. You will hear the groans of the prisoners and free those condemned to die. I pray to you: "Do not take me away before my time has come, you whose days last from age to age.
Lord, please help people who are in great distress

Recording


 

1 Timothy 6.17-19: Warn people who are rich in this world's goods that they are not to look down on others. Tell them not to set their hopes on money, but on God who, out of his riches, gives us all we need for happiness. Tell rich people to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will have a healthy account in the Bank of Heaven. 
Jesus, please help rich people do more to help poor people

Recording


John 1.35-51 (for Feast of St Bartholomew): 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:

Jesus praised Bartholomew for being a person "without guile". On the other hand Jesus told his followers to be "as cunning as serpents". How can we be as cunning as serpents ... without a gallon of guile?! Maybe the answer is: cunning can be good or bad ... good as in the case of the 3 wise men who displayed cunning by not going back to King Herod after they found the baby Jesus. But guile is always bad...it implies dishonesty etc.

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

155b: Recording Learning to accept our body, to care for it and to respect its fullest meaning, is an essential element of any genuine human ecology.

Also, valuing one's own body in its femininity or masculinity is necessary if I am going to be able to recognize myself in an encounter with someone who is different.

In this way we can joyfully accept the specific gifts of another man or woman, the work of God the Creator, and find mutual enrichment. 

It is not a healthy attitude which would seek "to cancel out sexual difference because it no longer knows how to confront it".

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

151b: Recording  The Lord wants to make use of us as living, free and creative beings who let his word enter our own hearts before then passing it on to others.

Christ's message must truly enter and possess the preacher, not just intellectually but in his entire being.

The Holy Spirit, who inspired the word, "today, just as at the beginning of the Church, acts in every evangelizer who allows himself to be possessed and led by him. The Holy Spirit places on his lips the words which he could not find by himself".

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10 years ago today:

Visit to Marco Polo Center by very friendly soldiers from nearby Army base

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 Confession: when I go once a month to each of the two women's prisons in HK, I have to make the most of my time. I don't stop for lunch (which means going back out through security, then to a canteen, then back in ...can get caught in queues). So I usually buy 3 bread rolls when I leave Jordan. I have one roll just before entering the prison. I put the two others in two small plastic bags, then put one bag in my left trouser pocket and one in the right ....both hidden by my hanging-out shirt. I then have one roll around midday and one mid-afternoon as I walk from one section of the prison to the other. But food is not supposed to be taken into a prison ...so I'm always a bit anxious if my dough will be discovered. Last Tuesday at Tai Lam I was extra anxious because the rolls were so hot that they were nearly burning a hole in my pockets. And more seriously: their beautiful fresh smell was so strong I was afraid they'd be detected! But the security guards did not detect them. Or maybe they kindly decided to let the old fellow have his lunch inside. Thank you God for daily bread, especially when it's in trouser pockets! (...and please always let the sniffer dog be somewhere else on my bread days!)

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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 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, Thursday, please pacify Al-Qaeda

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Wed Aug 23

Yesterday I was at Tai Lam Women's Prison from 9.30 to 5.30 ....grateful to know that there have been no new drug mules from Africa or South America arrested at HK airport over the past month (in fact no new African women for the whole of this year)....but sad to see so many mothers behind bars. Prison is the last place a mother should be

Disabled youth find a home and visibility with Chinese sisters

Pope: Prioritise migrants' dignity over national security

Same-sex marriage ballot: Why freedom won't be free under same-sex marriage
e.g. Censorship of "No" material


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  Chris McDonnell 

A significant lapse of memory

I make no apology for returning to a topic that has been addressed one way or another in this column over recent months

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

Ezra 7:  Ezra was a scholar who loved to study the Law of the Lord. He was a descendant of Aaron. The Lord moved the heart of the king of Persia to grant any request that Ezra made to help the Jews. Ezra prayed: "Blessed be the Lord our God, for moving the king's heart to look favorably on the rebuilding of our temple."
Dear God, please move the hearts of all government leaders to look favorably on citizens who want to do good things

My recording of this reading

 

Psalm 101: My song is of mercy and justice. I sing to you, O Lord. I will try to walk with blameless heart. I will try to give my attention to what is good, not what is bad. People who slander others, people of proud looks, these will not be my friends. People who are good and do good, these will be my friends. 
Dear Lord, please help me to avoid bad company

Recording

 

1 Timothy 6.11-13: As a man of God, avoid things like greed and disputes. You must aim to be a saint, filled with faith and love, patient and gentle. Fight the good fight of the faith, and win for yourself eternal life. Be a constant witness to goodness and truth, like Jesus who spoke up as a witness for the truth in front of Pontius Pilate. 
Jesus, help me be a witness to goodness and truth

Recording



Matthew 12.46-50: One day when Jesus was speaking to a crowd of people inside a house, his mother and brothers arrived at the house. From outside the house they sent a message to say they would like to speak with him. When Jesus heard they were there, he said "Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?" Then holding out his hand towards his disciples he said "Here are my mother and brothers. Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven, that person is my brother and sister and mother."
Brother Jesus,  please help me do the will of your Father in heaven

 
Recording

 

 Reflection on the above readings: 

"Speak up for the truth" says Jesus in today's Gospel. But in some places the only place you may speak Christian truth is inside a church - see article at top of this menu: "Why freedom won't be free...."

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

155a: Recording  Human ecology also implies another profound reality: the relationship between human life and the moral law, which is inscribed in our nature and is necessary for the creation of a more dignified environment. 

Pope Benedict XVI spoke of an "ecology of man", based on the fact that "man too has a nature that he must respect and that he cannot manipulate at will".

It is enough to recognize that our body itself establishes us in a direct relationship with the environment and with other living beings. 

The acceptance of our bodies as God's gift is vital for welcoming and accepting the entire world as a gift from the Father and our common home, whereas thinking that we enjoy absolute power over our own bodies turns, often subtly, into thinking that we enjoy absolute power over creation

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

151a: Recording  We are not asked to be flawless, but to keep growing and wanting to grow as we advance along the path of the Gospel; our arms must never grow slack. What is essential is that the preacher be certain that God loves him, that Jesus Christ has saved him and that Jesus' love always has the last word.

Encountering such beauty, he will often feel that his life does not glorify God as it should, and he will sincerely desire to respond more fully to so great a love. 

Yet if he does not take time to hear God's word with an open heart, if he does not allow it to touch his life, to challenge him, to impel him, and if he does not devote time to pray with that word, then he will indeed be a false prophet, a fraud, a shallow impostor

But by acknowledging his poverty and desiring to grow in his commitment, he will always be able to abandon himself to Christ, saying in the words of Peter: "I have no silver and gold, but what I have I give you".

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 I've been around for 7 decades, but only yesterday did I meet my first human: A very friendly taxi driver ...who took me to Tai Lam Women's Prison ...his name was ...Human! 

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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 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,
Wednesday, please pacify
Al-Shabaab 

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Tues Aug 22

Many thanks to kind team at HK Cable TV for producing this video report about my anti-drug campaign (has had 38,000 views in less than 24 hours!). For non-Chinese readers, click "translation" to check some of the flattering comments! God bless all at Cable TV! I hope the report will do much good ...e.g. persuading authorities to take more action, make that action, against the Drug Lords!

 

Making human trafficking a crime in HK
There were up to 2,000 human trafficking cases in HK last year, including Filipina job seekers who ended up as sex workers in Wanchai and Mongkok

 

Letter in Swahili and English from a Tanzanian woman in prison in HK for drug trafficking, describing how people are tricked at airports to carry luggage for someone else - here (July 10)

 

To reinforce the tremendous family foundation of Confucian HK society, and to protect HK from following the mess that is Massachusetts, a chapter of Mass Resistance is being set up in HK

 

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

Ezra 5-6: The prophets Haggai and Zechariah encouraged the people in the rebuilding of the temple. Despite opposition, the Jews kept on rebuilding the temple. The prophets Haggai and Zechariah encouraged the people in the rebuilding of the temple. Despite opposition, the Jews kept on rebuilding the temple.
Dear God, when anyone tries to stop us from doing good, please give us courage to keep going
My recording of this reading

 

Psalm 100: Cry out with joy to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord with gladness. Come before him, singing for joy. Know that he, the Lord, is God. He made us, we belong to him. We are his people, the sheep of his flock. Go within his gates, giving thanks. Enter his temple with songs of praise. Give thanks to him and bless his name. Indeed, how good is the Lord, eternal his merciful love. He is faithful from age to age.
Dear Lord, please help us to serve you with gladness

Recording

 

1 Timothy 6.3-10: Some people, because of ignorance and pride, have a craze for questioning and arguing about everything. Such a craze breeds jealousy and mistrust and unending disputes. People who have a craving to be wealthy are a prey to temptation. They get trapped into all sorts of foolish and dangerous schemes which ruin their lives. The love of money is the root of all evils. It can cause people to leave the faith.
Jesus, help me be content with a simple lifestyle
Recording


Matthew 12.9-14: On another Sabbath Jesus  visited a prayer hall. A man with a withered hand was in the hall. Some religious leaders asked Jesus, to trap him, "Is it lawful to heal a man on the Sabbath day?" (The leaders taught that no "work" could be done on the Sabbath). Jesus replied: "If one of your sheep fell down a hole on the Sabbath, wouldn't you lift it out? A man is more important than a sheep. Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath." Then Jesus said to the man with the withered hand "Stretch out your hand". He stretched it out. It was healed. The religious leaders left the prayer hall and began plotting how to get rid of Jesus.
Jesus, please stop bad religious leaders from misleading people

Recording

 

Reflection on the above readings:

Despite opposition, the Jews kept rebuilding the wall (first reading). Despite questioning opposition, Paul kept on spreading the Gospel (1 Timothy). Despite opposition Jesus kept doing good. So we ....despite opposition...must try to keep on trying to do the right thing.

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

154: Recording:  Respect for our dignity as human beings often jars with the chaotic realities that people have to endure in city life.

Yet this should not make us overlook the abandonment and neglect also experienced by some rural populations which lack access to essential services and where some workers are reduced to conditions of servitude, without rights or even the hope of a more dignified life.

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

150: Recording  Jesus was angered by those supposed teachers who demanded much of others, teaching Godís word but without being enlightened by it: "They bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves will not lift a finger to move them" 

The apostle James exhorted: "Not many of you should become teachers, my brethren, for you know that we who teach shall be judged with greater strictness". 

Whoever wants to preach must be the first to let the word of God move him deeply and become incarnate in his daily life. In this way preaching will consist in that activity, so intense and fruitful, which is "communicating to others what one has contemplated".

For all these reasons, before preparing what we will actually say when preaching, we need to let ourselves be (seasoned) by that word which will also (season) others, for it is a living and active word, like a sword "which pierces to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerns the thoughts and intentions of the heart". 

This has great pastoral importance. Today too, people prefer to listen to witnesses: they "thirst for authenticity" and "call for evangelizers to speak of a God whom they themselves know and are familiar with, as if they were seeing him".

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Interactive Bible Quiz - Deuteronomy
Based on the actual words of the Bible. 
How many times can you get 3/3 ?!  

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10 years ago today:

Visit to Zhaoqing poor areas and Yunfu leper center by service group from St Cosmas & Damian Parish, HK

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 Many happy moments were shared with the friendly Cable TV team in producing their report on my anti-drug campaign. Not least were the times we shared meals - in Guangzhou and in HK - for which the team, representing Cable owner Mr Peter Wu,   kindly picked up the bill!

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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 22nd
of the month, Jesus please bless the prisoners of Zhejiang

And praying for one of the world's poorest countries each day of the month:
On this 22nd of the month,  Jesus please bless the people of Rwanda

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

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Mon Aug 21

If you click the above picture at this link (might be on page 2 or 3 or 4), you'll see what I saw live on Sat afternoon a few doors from my front entrance in Temple Street. And here's another video - with direct link here. Notice the cool and patient professionalism of the HK police (who rarely use their guns) ....how they kept talking until the man was overcome....unlike police in US who shoot first at the slightest provocation. If this had been the US, the man probably would have been shot dead, or at least wounded, by the police. God bless the HK police! English report by SCMP (and see my comment - "M. Ricci")

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Bait and Switch - What We're Really Voting For
Terms like 'Husband' and 'Wife' are now 'Hate Speech' and you can forget forget terms like 'Mother' and 'Father'

Australian Prayer Network -  continuous prayer while gay marriage postal vote being held

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Today is the feast day of St Pius X whose teaching on who may receive Holy Communion and what age for First Communion is well worth reading

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Chris McDonnell - two items:

Charlottesville & That voice in me that weeps for us

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

Ezra 4: Having returned from exile, the Jews started to rebuild their temple in Jerusalem. But some enemies of Israel tried to frighten and dishearten the Jews from rebuilding the temple.
Dear God, when anyone tries to stop us from doing good, please give us courage to keep going
My recording of this reading

 

Psalm 99: The Lord is king. He is great in Sion. His power is seen throughout the world. Among his priests were Aaron, Moses and Samuel. They prayed to the Lord and he answered their call. Let peoples everywhere praise his name. He is holy, full of power. 
Lord, may all peoples know and love you 

Recording

 

1 Timothy 5.19-23: Never accept an accusation brought against a church elder unless it is supported by two or three witnesses. If an elder is at fault, reprimand him publicly as a warning to others. Be fair to everyone and never be influenced by favoritism. As regards your frequent illnesses, I suggest you give up drinking only water, and have a little wine for the sake of your digestion. 
Jesus, help church workers to be fair and impartial

Recording

 

Matthew 12.1-8: One Sabbath day Jesus and his disciples were walking through a cornfield. The disciples were hungry. They picked some ears of corn and ate them. Picking corn on the Sabbath was regarded as unlawful by the Pharisees.  So the Pharisees said to Jesus "Your disciples are breaking the Sabbath law". Jesus replied "Don't you remember what David and his followers once did when they were hungry? They ate the Temple bread which only the priests were allowed to eat. Go and learn the meaning  of these words 'What I want is mercy, not superficial external offerings'. I am Master of the Sabbath." 
Jesus, Master of the Sabbath, please help me understand  that love is more important than law.

Recording

 

Reflection on the above readings:

Even though Jesus drank wine, even though a Psalm praises God for giving us "wine to cheer our hearts", even though St Paul (in above reading) tells Timothy to have some wine for his illness.....yet ...some pastors in some churches tell their people "it's a sin to drink wine". Drinking wine is a sin only when drunkenness etc is involved. In moderation it is something good. Just like driving a car is something good. Only "bad" when reckless driving (or a stolen car, or underage driving etc) involved. 

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

153: Recording  The quality of life in cities has much to do with systems of transport, which are often a source of much suffering for those who use them.

Many cars, used by one or more people, circulate in cities, causing traffic congestion, raising the level of pollution, and consuming enormous quantities of non-renewable energy. 

This makes it necessary to build more roads and parking areas which spoil the urban landscape.

Many specialists agree on the need to give priority to public transportation.

Yet some measures needed will not prove easily acceptable to society unless substantial improvements are made in the systems themselves, which in many cities force people to put up with undignified conditions due to crowding, inconvenience, infrequent service and lack of safety.

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

149b: Recording  Nor should we forget that "the greater or lesser degree of the holiness of the minister has a real effect on the proclamation of the word". As Saint Paul says, "we speak, not to please men, but to please God who tests our hearts".

If we have a lively desire to be the first to hear the word which we must preach, this will surely be communicated to God's faithful people, for "out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks". The Sunday readings will resonate in all their brilliance in the hearts of the faithful if they have first done so in the heart of their pastor.

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 I used this classic video at my Sat night and two Sunday morning Masses ...it put a smile on many faces, not least my own.

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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 21st of the month, Jesus please bless the prisoners of Benin

And praying for one of the world's poorest countries each day of the month: 
On this 21st of the month, Jesus please bless the people of Benin

And praying for one
Islam-related intention each day of the week:

Jesus, today,
Monday, please pacify I.S.

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Sun Aug 20

As I walked back to my home from Jordan MTR yesterday afternoon, a police van with siren on full pulled up not far from me and several policemen with riot gear ran towards Temple Street....then they stopped a few doors past the entrance to my home ....one used a baton to hit an African man in a fight with a local man ...then I saw one officer hold his gun in the air ....that sure quietened things down. I didn't stick around ...had many office jobs to do. Locals later told me the fight was over "non-payment to a chicken" (let the reader understand). Some people also said there have been reports on TV but I can't find any. Anyhow I'll see the offending person(s) in prison next week!

The reason why I had gone out for a while was to see someone who is helping research the drug world in Hong Kong ...such information will help people facing court cases ....and expose some of the big fish.

No sooner did I arrive in my home than there was a call from the local Salvation Army office, asking urgent help to provide accommodation for a homeless man. Now that the Mercy Centre is open on Cheung Chau Island I was able to ring Lucia (in charge of Mercy Centre) and she arranged for the man to go to Cheung Chau.

When I was a young boy in Australia I used to go to the movies on Saturday afternoon to see a bit of action ("Cowboys and Indians"). Now that I'm old I don't need to go anywhere for action....it's all around me!

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

c.f. readings for Sunday 20

Isaiah 56: Foreigners who love and serve the Lord - these I will bring to my holy mountain, says the Lord. I will make them joyful in my house of prayer, for my house will be called a house of prayer for all the nations.
Lord, please help all peoples of the world know that you are their loving Creator

My recording of this reading

 

Psalms 66-68: O God, be gracious and bless us and let your face shine its light upon us. Let all the peoples praise you, O God. Let all the peoples praise you. O sing to the Lord, make music to his name. Rejoice in the Lord, exult at his presence. Father of the orphan, defender of the widow, God provides a shelter for the homeless. God gives his people strength.
May all the peoples of the earth know you and praise you, O God

Recording

 

Romans 10.1-4: I have a really great love for the Jews. I pray to God for them to be saved. They have a strong belief in God, but their zeal is misguided. They can't see that friendship with God is a gift from God, not just a matter of external practices. 
Jesus, some people have mixed up ideas about religion (.. Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses). Help them know the truth as you revealed it  

Recording


 

Matthew 15.21-28: Jesus went to the coastal district near Tyre and Sidon. A foreign woman followed him and shouted "Sir, Son of David, have pity on me. My daughter is tormented by an evil spirit." At first Jesus did not answer her, so his disciples said to him. "Help her, because she keeps shouting after us." Jesus replied "I was sent only to the people of Israel". The foreign woman by now was kneeling at Jesus' feet. "Lord, help me" she pleaded. Jesus said to her "Woman, you have great faith. Your wish is granted".  At that very moment, her daughter was healed.
Jesus, please give sick people great faith in you

Recording

 

 Reflection on the above readings: 

The Catholic Church is so called because the word "catholic" means "all-embracing"/"including everyone"/"for everyone"/"international"....which is what today's first reading is about: any genuine church/house of God should be open to and include people of all nations. c.f. website of Union Church in Jordan Road, not far from my home, and St Andrew's Anglican Church in nearby Nathan Road.


Video commentary on today's readings - in Italian with English, Chinese and Spanish subtitles

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

152: Recording  Lack of housing is a grave problem in many parts of the world, both in rural areas and in large cities, since state budgets usually cover only a small portion of the demand.

Not only the poor, but many other members of society as well, find it difficult to own a home. 

Having a home has much to do with a sense of personal dignity and the growth of families.

This is a major issue for human ecology. 

In some places, where makeshift shanty towns have sprung up, this will mean developing those neighbourhoods rather than razing or displacing them. 

When the poor live in unsanitary slums or in dangerous tenements, "in cases where it is necessary to relocate them, in order not to heap suffering upon suffering, adequate information needs to be given beforehand, with choices of decent housing offered, and the people directly involved must be part of the process".

At the same time, creativity should be shown in integrating rundown neighbourhoods into a welcoming city: "How beautiful those cities which overcome paralyzing mistrust, integrate those who are different and make this very integration a new factor of development! How attractive are those cities which, even in their architectural design, are full of spaces which connect, relate and favour the recognition of others!"

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

149a: Recording  The preacher "ought first of all to develop a great personal familiarity with the word of God.

Knowledge of its linguistic or exegetical aspects, though certainly necessary, is not enough. He needs to approach the word with a docile and prayerful heart so that it may deeply penetrate his thoughts and feelings and bring about a new outlook in himĒ.

It is good for us to renew our fervour each day and every Sunday as we prepare the homily, examining ourselves to see if we have grown in love for the word which we preach.

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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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  On MTR (Metro) yesterday, a woman had a tee shirt with the words "CATS MAKE MY HAPPY, NOT SO YOU" 

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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 20th of the month, Jesus please bless the prisoners of Sichuan

And praying for one of the world's poorest countries each day of the month:
On this 20th of the month, Jesus please bless the people of Gambia

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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Sat Aug 19

Is not this "perverting the course of justice"?
Rimsky Yuen overruled DOJ prosecutors
(remember also the timing of the DOJ's announcement to have lawmakers tried and expelled...the day after the last election..."I don't interfere with the timing of the DOJ" he claimed

 

Chinese community in Australia worried about same-sex marriage

c.f. this excellent site: Australian Chinese for Families Association

Since The Australian is one of the few media outlets in Australia which is publishing pro-family reports ...unlike the ABC, Fairfax etc....therefore I have taken out a subscription to The Australian ....and I've stopped my usual habit of checking the heavily pro-same-sex marriage ABC website

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

Ezra 2-3: About 50,000 Jews returned to Israel after 70 years of exile in Babylon. The returnees gathered in Jerusalem for worship. They were overcome with joy.
Dear God, please help all exiles return to their homeland

My recording of this reading

 

Psalm 98: Sing a new song to the Lord for he has worked wonders. His right hand has brought salvation. The Lord has made known his salvation. He has shown his justice to the nations. He has remembered his truth and love for the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. Shout to the Lord all the earth, ring out your joy. Sing psalms to the Lord with the harp, with the sound of music. Let the sea, the world and all peoples acclaim the King, the Lord. Let the rivers clap their hands and the hills ring out their joy at the presence of the Lord, for he comes to rule the earth. He will rule the world with justice and the peoples with fairness.
Lord, may all peoples in all countries know your love and goodness

Recording

 

1 Timothy 5.1-14: Do not speak harshly to a man older than yourself, but advise him as you would your own father. Treat younger men as brothers. Treat older women as you would your mother. Treat younger women with propriety, as if they were your sisters. Be considerate to widows. If a widow wishes to be enrolled as a church worker, she must be at least 60 years old, the wife of one husband. As regards young widows, it's best if they re-marry.
Jesus, help church workers to be kind and caring

Recording



Matthew 11.25-30: One day Jesus prayed: Father, Lord of heaven and earth, I am joyfully amazed at the way simple people understand and accept what I'm saying, while proud and clever people miss the plot. And he said to the ordinary people: Come to me, all you who are treated unfairly by unjust religious laws. I will give you peace and justice. Learn from me, and you will know peace, for I am gentle and humble of heart. 
Jesus, please help people who are suffering from unjust religious laws

Recording

 

Reflection on the above readings:

Why are so many people rejecting Jesus' teaching about family life? Maybe today's Gospel gives one common reason: ..."simple people understand and accept ....proud people reject".

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

151: Recording There is also a need to protect those common areas, visual landmarks and urban landscapes which increase our sense of belonging, of rootedness, of "feeling at home" within a city which includes us and brings us together.

It is important that the different parts of a city be well integrated and that those who live there have a sense of the whole, rather than being confined to one neighbourhood and failing to see the larger city as space which they share with others.

Interventions which affect the urban or rural landscape should take into account how various elements combine to form a whole which is perceived by its inhabitants as a coherent and meaningful framework for their lives.

Others will then no longer be seen as strangers, but as part of a "we" which all of us are working to create.

For this same reason, in both urban and rural settings, it is helpful to set aside some places which can be preserved and protected from constant changes brought by human intervention.

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

148: Recording  Certainly, to understand properly the meaning of the central message of a text we need to relate it to the teaching of the entire Bible as handed on by the Church

This is an important principle of biblical interpretation which recognizes that the Holy Spirit has inspired not just a part of the Bible, but the Bible as a whole, and that in some areas people have grown in their understanding of God's will on the basis of their personal experience

It also prevents erroneous or partial interpretations which would contradict other teachings of the same Scriptures. 

But it does not mean that we can weaken the distinct and specific emphasis of a text which we are called to preach. 

One of the defects of a tedious and ineffectual preaching is precisely its inability to transmit the intrinsic power of the text which has been proclaimed. 

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The neighbours called the police to tell them that the mother always leaves the baby alone in the house and the poor baby cries all day. The police came and broke down the door. This is what they saw!

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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 19th of the month, Jesus please bless the prisoners of Shanxi

And praying for one of the world's poorest countries each day of the month:
On this 19th of the month, Jesus please bless the people of Sudan

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

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Fri Aug 18

The fledgling NGO which I have helped set up - MercyHK - now has a centre on Cheung Chau Island for homeless men ... providing them with employment as well as accommodation. English name of the centre - Mercy Centre. Chinese name - 善樂舍.  Photos here

 

US doctor expelled from 4 Boston hospitals -  for his comments to colleagues that homosexuality is medically unhealthy. Statistics in video about 13+ year olds ... most disturbing. Medical facts in video ...sickening.

 

My new "parishioners":
HK jailings could lend democracy cause greater legitimacy

 

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

Ezra-Nehemiah 1: After the Jewish people had been in Babylon about 70 years, the Lord moved the heart of the king of Persia to free the Jews. The king also told the Jews to re-build their temple in Jerusalem. 
Dear Lord, please give freedom to all the peoples of the world

My recording of this reading

 

Psalm 97: The Lord is king, let earth rejoice, the many coastlands be glad. Cloud and darkness are his robes. His throne is justice and goodness. The skies proclaim his goodness. All peoples see his glory. Let those who serve idols be ashamed. Let all creation worship  the Creator. Light shines forth for good people and joy for the upright of heart. Rejoice in the Lord, all good people. Give glory to his holy name. 
Lord, you indeed are God of the universe
Recording

 

1 Timothy 4.12-16: Do not let people disregard you because you are young. Be an example to all the believers in the way you speak and act. You have in you a spiritual gift which was given you when the church  elders prayed over you with the laying on of hands. Do not let this gift go unused. Take great care about what you do and what you teach. In this way you will save both yourself and those who listen to you.
Jesus, help me be a good example to other people

Recording


Matthew 11.1-19: John the Baptist sent some of his friends to ask Jesus "Are you the promised Anointed One?" Jesus replied "Tell John what you hear and see: blind people see, lame people walk, lepers are healed". Jesus also said to the people around him how neither John nor himself could please the religious leaders. "For John always fasted and never drank wine, and people said he was possessed. I eat well and I drink wine and people call me a glutton and a drunkard." 
Jesus, please help me be someone who is easy to live with, someone who is not hard to please
Recording

 

Reflection on the above Bible readings:

For Jesus the "opposition" was not the Roman rulers or media or athiests ... but ... the Jewish religious leaders. The very people who should have been in his "cabinet" were in fact on the front bench of the opposition. The religious leadership had "lost the plot"....as has happened at times in the history of the Church ...and in the history of other religions. Being religious leader can be a health hazard! 

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

 150: Recording  Given the interrelationship between living space and human behaviour, those who design buildings, neighbourhoods, public spaces and cities, ought to draw on the various disciplines which help us to understand people's thought processes, symbolic language and ways of acting. 

It is not enough to seek the beauty of design. 

More precious still is the service we offer to another kind of beauty: people's quality of life, their adaptation to the environment, encounter and mutual assistance.

Here too, we see how important it is that urban planning always take into consideration the views of those who will live in these areas.

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

147b: Recording  But our own aim is not to understand every little detail of a text; our most important goal is to discover its principal message, the message which gives structure and unity to the text. 

If the preacher does not make this effort, his preaching will quite likely have neither unity nor order; what he has to say will be a mere accumulation of various disjointed ideas incapable of inspiring others. 

The central message is what the author primarily wanted to communicate; this calls for recognizing not only the author's ideas but the effect which he wanted to produce.

If a text was written to console, it should not be used to correct errors; if it was written as an exhortation, it should not be employed to teach doctrine; if it was written to teach something about God, it should not be used to expound various theological opinions; if it was written as a summons to praise or missionary outreach, let us not use it to talk about the latest news

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10 years ago today:

CT of sick baby in Area C.....kind Macau/HK doctor please check for advice (advice received...thank you Macau Hope Clinic!)

Visit to all five centers in poor areas by UK Dave Clark

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 Almost every week somewhere in HK I have the happy experience of meeting former inmates. e.g. a few mornings ago when I went to McDonald's for morning green tea ... as I sat down a young guy at the next table said "Hello Fr John ...I knew you when I was at Wing Chor Primary School (at Tai O on Lantau Island) 1996-97 ...and at Lai Chi Kok men's prison about 5 years ago"!

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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 18th of the month, Jesus please bless the prisoners of Heilongjiang

And praying for one of
the world's poorest countries each day of the month:
 
On this 18th of the month, Jesus please bless the people of Ivory Coast

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

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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 ( The Last Run)

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Gay marriage: an elephant in the room (by John W)

Video: What "gay marriage" did to Massachusetts 
同志婚姻自2004年立法後,美國麻省的改變 ( 廣東話附字幕版)

  Frightening YouTube reports: LGBT radical impact on educational institutions (No. 5); LGBT infiltrating churches (No. 6); US corporations massively supporting LGBT agenda (No. 7). What has happened in the US is now starting to happen in other places. Some day our children will ask "why didn't you do more to stop this evil?"

 

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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- 67095674
 China mobile +86-13828421861 -  (only when in China)
PO Box 74013 Kowloon Central Post Office, Hong Kong                      

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