• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐
    圣福若瑟神父

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动
    圣杨生•爱诺德神父

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Monday, 27 February 2017 10:48

Lent - a time of true encounter with my neighbour?

Fr Henry Adler SVD close hs 150Dear Friends,

As this edition of In the Word reaches your inbox we are about to enter the Lenten season, a time traditionally set apart for repentance and deepening the spiritual life through prayer, fasting and almsgiving.

All of those activities are good and I will certainly give them my best shot. But what if, this Lent, as well as turning to the Word, we were also to deepen our spiritual life by more actively seeking to love our neighbour?

Pope Francis has prompted us along this path in his Lenten Message for 2017.

By sharing the story of Lazarus, the poor man in the Bible, who lies before the door of the rich man and is fed on the crumbs falling from his table, Pope Francis sheds light on the importance of relationship and encounter.

“Lazarus teaches us that other persons are a gift,” he says in his message. “A right relationship with people consists in gratefully recognising their value. Even the poor person at the door of the rich is not a nuisance, but a summons to conversion and to change.

“The parable first invites us to open the doors of our heart to others because each person is a gift, whether it be our neighbour or an anonymous pauper.

“Lent is a favourable season for opening the doors to all those in need and recognising in them the face of Christ. Each of us meets people like this every day. Each life that we encounter is a gift deserving acceptance, respect and love.”

These are powerful words, because they challenge me personally to take up in my own life what is becoming known as Pope Francis’ Theology of Encounter.

It challenges me to stay alert to the people around me, to their needs, to their gifts. The Pope is constantly urging us to go out of our comfort zone, to head to the borders and margins, and to really encounter the people we meet there. This is a hands-on kind of Lenten observance and possibly even a messy one. But this commitment to real and deep encounter with people is what lies at the heart of the Mission of Jesus Christ.

So this Lent, I urge you to consider joining me in deeper engagement with the Word, as well as in prayer, fasting and almsgiving, but also may Lent be a time of true encounter, with the poor, the sick, the frail, the young, the old, the people in our street or at our workplace.

As Pope Francis writes, “May the Holy Spirit lead us on a true journey of conversion, so that we can rediscover the gift of God’s word, be purified of the sin that blinds us, and serve Christ present in our brothers and sisters in need”.