Recently I received a letter from a woman whose life, in effect, had imploded. Within the course of a few months, her husband divorced her, she lost her job, was forced to move from the house she had lived in for many years, was locked down in her new place by Covid restrictions, and was diagnosed with a cancer which might be untreatable. It was all too much.
News in Church
Pope Francis has called for the Church in Italy to hold a national synod, a move that will put pressure on bishops across the world to follow suit. During a meeting with a group of catechists from the Italian Bishops’ Conference in the Vatican, the Pope said the “process” for a national synod “must begin” and should start “community by community, diocese by diocese”.
The nice thing about the film It’s a Wonderful Life is that it shows a man how much he is valued while he’s still around to take pleasure from the knowledge. It’s been a little like that since Mark Langham, until lately chaplain at Cambridge, let it be known to the chaplaincy that he’s very unwell and receiving palliative care; Westminster Cathedral, where he was administrator, did the same.
It is the serene image of God's response to people's sin: not a frowning face, but a band of light as sweet as a caress; not a menacing voice, but a welcoming smile, for those who, having forsaken the Lord, have tragically harmed themselves. The ambivalence of the arc, or the bow, expresses a paradox: the wrath of God is nothing but his smile and his severity coincides with tenderness.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set out in the 2030 Agenda, endorsed by the United Nations in 2015, are the result of a long deliberative process. They reflect a broad international consensus on the greatest challenges facing humanity in the 21st century. It is clear that scientists, economists, engineers, politicians, sociologists, and even militaries have many reasons to care about the SDGs.
Over the last decades interreligious dialogue in Asia has faced some tough challenges. Even though many religious leaders, organizations and thinkers have been working constructively and efficaciously, at the popular level religions often limit themselves to coexisting rather than engaging in dialogue and collaboration. Besides, tensions and conflicts, both short- and long-term, continue to be all too frequent.
Lent is a privileged time to return to ourselves, to nourish and to let the divine grow within us. It is a time to listen to God’s Word. It is not a superficial, distracted listening, almost fearful that the message will penetrate too deeply into the mind and heart, causing a disturbance, but a deeper listening that requires radical changes of direction in our lives.
More and more Mexicans are identifying as Protestants, as the Catholic Church watches people slowly walking away. Between 2000 and 2020, the proportion of Catholics in Mexico fell by ten points (from 88% to 77.7%), in favor of Protestants and Evangelicals.
The spiritual leaders of Israel have categorized people into clean and unclean, just and sinners. But does God accept this discrimination? And when it is done, on which side is God? The Gospel accounts of Jesus’ encounters with the lepers go far beyond this narrative.
Why is man destined to suffer? The traditional response of Israel to this puzzle is the doctrine of retribution that Eliphaz, the friend of Job, sums up: “Have you seen a guiltless man perish, or an upright man done away with? Those who plow evil or those who sow trouble reap the same” (Job 4:7-8).