We begin the New Year of the Rabbit hoping in an open post-Covid world. Jesus accompanies us by teaching and proclaiming the Good News of God’s love and its healing power for us, so that in this new year we might make healthier choices for us, our families and the society at large.
It is worth remembering that the fourth commandment is not the first of the commandments. “Family ties are important but not absolute, because the first vocation of a Christian is to follow Jesus and love him…” (CCCC 462).
Neither greed nor total disregard are a spiritually healthy approach to riches. It is best to view money in a balanced manner, under God’s guidance.
At the Second Vatican Council itself, Pope Benedict XVI proved adversarial to those conservative forces who were resisting the renewal which the majority of bishops favored. One of the ironies of his life is that, in the wake of Vatican II, he found himself standing athwart progressives who wanted to push beyond the council documents and compromise the integrity of Catholicism. Thus, the “liberal” of the Council became the “conservative” of the post-conciliar years, even as, in his own judgment, his views never changed.
Mozambique, the former Portuguese colony, has been fighting the threat of jihadi terror in its northermost region of Cabo Delgado. But human rights activists in Africa point out that this is a deliberate and well-organized strategy to expel populations from their ancestral territories as the lands are rich with deposits of graphite that is used to make anodes for electric car batteries.
After the past Christmas period filled with so many challenges, we are invited to begin the liturgical (and existential) Ordinary Time with the security of God’s faithful love and presence in our life. We are not alone in facing this new year. Fortified by the Holy Spirit, may each one of us become, too, a dependable and loving reference person in the life of those whom the Lord will entrust to our care.
It is the message of hope and joy that through the Baptist, John, from the very first page of his gospel, wants to announce to the disciples. Despite the apparent overwhelming power of evil in the world, what awaits humanity is the communion of life “with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.” These things—John says—I write “so that our joy may be complete” (1 Jn 1:3-4).
How should we keep Sunday holy? “Christians keep Sunday and other days of obligation holy by participating in the Eucharist of the Lord and by refraining from those activities which impede the worship of God and disturb the joy proper to the day of the Lord or the necessary relaxation of mind and body….” (CCCC 453).
On January 22, the Chinese calendar will enter a new cycle and the Macau Cardinal Newman Center of Cultural and Performance Arts intends to celebrate the arrival of the Year of the Rabbit with a series of activities and workshops, aimed at children and adults alike. Choi Chun Heng, one of Macau’s most renowned calligraphers, will join the celebrations for the third year in a row.
Pope Benedict’s XVI time as pope was short, but his impact was enormous and his legacy will probably continue to reverberate in the decades to come, Father José Mario Mandía believes. The former director of O Clarim recalls some of Joseph Ratzinger’s most important contributions to the Church, namely the Christ-centeredness of his theological vision and the first official Catholic catechism in more than 400 years. The Pope Emeritus’ profound words will continue to shape philosophy, theology and the life of the Church and the world.