Originally, the balls and the lights on Christmas trees symbolized the hope that nature would eventually overcome the cold and darkness of winter, and produce once again fruits and crops for our nourishment. May those fruits of conversion also bring hope and light to a world that is still in a deep moral winter.
When he spoke of God’s wrath, John had no clear idea of how it would manifest. The wrath of God is an image that recurs often in the Old Testament. It is not intended as an explosion of hatred on the victim. It is an expression of God’s love: he is fighting evil, not the person who does it. He does not want to hit the person but to free each one from sin.
The goal of the Christian life is far beyond the reach of our wounded nature, almost humanly impossible. The requirements are extreme. This is why Jesus Christ teaches us that we have to count on Him and on His grace.
Religious tensions could potentially escalate in the Muslim-majority nation of Malaysia with the formation of a new coalition government that includes a fundamentalist political party. This new scenario brings to mind the past tussle over the use of the word “Allah,” which nonetheless ended beneficially for the Christians.
Members of the GELMac organized an annual food drive, collecting food donations at four different local supermarkets last Saturday. The donations were offered to Caritas and helped relieve Macau’s most vulnerable and needy.
Last weekend, 20 people participated in a silent retreat under the guidance of Father Daniel Ribeiro at the Diocesan Retreat House in Coloane. More than just engaging in a period of spiritual reflection, the retreat provided participants with an opportunity for a personal encounter with God.
The pastoral care team in charge of the Portuguese-speaking community at the Cathedral parish invited elderly parishioners to a social event – the first of its kind aimed at the Lusophone flock – which sought to answer some of the concerns that were raised by local Catholics during the diocesan phase of the Synod of Bishops.
Advent is our time to build our spiritual ark, that safe space which gives us the courage to battle our own iniquities and the assaults of worldly affairs. It is also a symbol of a new beginning, a chance at transforming one’s life to conform to the expectations of our heavenly Father.
Many of us become embroiled in conspiracy theories regarding the end of the world, and most often it is the Bible that is misused and misquoted to propagate false ideas. As Catholics, the cautionary words of Jesus about nobody knowing the day or the hour but the Father, must remind us that the important aspect of our faith is being prepared, at all times.
Although the Catholic Church is less of a force to reckon with in modern-day Cambodia, it still strives to play an active role in righting undeniable wrongs such as human trafficking, especially that of children.