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 

Wed Oct 18

I was at Tai Lam Women's prison for 8 hours yesterday. In one room I met a number of women charged with trafficking in Ice. I said to one woman "there's a lot of you here on Ice charges". She replied "Yes, it's a cold room"! The good news from Tai Lam: no new woman from the whole of Africa arrested at HK airport this year for drug trafficking. The (bad) news: now that my work for Africans is decreasing, I find I'm being asked to increase my work for local HK people facing drug charges. 

 

Diwali starts tomorrow and continues until Sunday. Happy Diwali!


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  Chris McDonnell 

Yes, we can!
On October 9
 I made a journey on Newman's anniversary to be with a friend from childhood, a priest for over sixty years in the Arundel and Brighton diocese, Fr Gerald Coates

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

 Feast of Saint Luke  ("Luke"/"Acts")

Luke 1: Dear Friend of God, there are already many reports written about Jesus. These reports come from people who were the earliest eyewitnesses and ministers of the Good News. After checking the whole story, I also have decided to write a report, so that you may see for yourself the truth and accuracy of the Good News
Jesus, help me understand your Good News
 
Recording of this reading


Acts 1: Dear Friend of God, in my first book (the Gospel of Luke) I wrote about everything Jesus did until the day he was taken up to heaven. For 40 days after his death, he appeared to his apostles many times, and taught them about the kingdom of God. He told them to stay in Jerusalem and wait for what the Father had promised: "You will soon be baptized with the Holy Spirit"
Jesus, please baptize me with the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit, increase your influence in my life

Recording


Colossians 4.14 (St Paul writing from prison in Rome):
Greetings from my dear friend Luke, the doctor
Recording

 


2 Timothy 4.11 (St Paul writing from prison in Rome):
Only
Luke is with me

Recording

 

 Reflection on the above readings: 

I really enjoyed this: David Pawson - The Gospel of Luke

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

205: Listen  Yet all is not lost. Human beings, while capable of the worst, are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good, and making a new start, despite their mental and social conditioning.

We are able to take an honest look at ourselves, to acknowledge our deep dissatisfaction, and to embark on new paths to authentic freedom.

No system can completely suppress our openness to what is good, true and beautiful, or our God-given ability to respond to his grace at work deep in our hearts.

I appeal to everyone throughout the world not to forget this dignity which is ours. No one has the right to take it from us.

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

187b: Listen  A mere glance at the Scriptures is enough to make us see how our gracious Father wants to hear the cry of the poor:  "I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt ; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them...so I will send you..." (Ex 3:7-8, 10).

We also see how he is concerned for their needs: "When the Israelites cried out to the Lord, the Lord raised up for them a deliverer" (Jg 3:15 ).

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 How any country can win lots more medals at the Olympics: get more men to "change" into women:A prominent transgender advocate has backed a ban on Hannah Mouncey due to her abnormal size and strength.

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

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,
Wednesday, please pacify
Al-Shabaab 

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Tues Oct 17

A long but happy day yesterday: a trip to Kowloon City Court in the early morning to arrange bail release for a man in Lai Chi Kok men's prison; a meeting (at the court) with a kind young man who is setting up a Facebook page for a new website I've started - to help protect family life in HK from the radical rainbow typhoon which is battering so many parts of the world; then a visit to Lai Chi Kok prison to deliver the "get out of jail" letter & visit some inmates due for court soon; then some office work at home (an urgent support letter for a coming case & preparation of an affidavit for another case); then a long visit to a HK Island legal office to finalise the affidavit; then some time at the Catholic Centre in Central to say thank you for 71 years of life; then an evening meal with some homeless people who sleep at McDonald's. No trouble sleeping last night! My custom for many years now has been to have a meal with poor people on Oct 16 as in 2016 and 2009  

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

1 Maccabees 1: Some Jews abandoned their religion and made a pact with King Antiochus Epiphanes, a Seleucid king of the Greeks. Antiochus conquered many lands, including Israel. He plundered the Temple and forced the Jews to renounce their religion. But many Jews courageously stood firm and were punished with death. This was a sad and terrible time for Israel.
Dear God, please help us stay faithful to you

My recording of this reading

 

Psalm 144: Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who gives me strength for every situation. He is my love, my fortress. He is my stronghold, my savior. To you, O God, will I sing a new song, you who so often rescued David your servant. Happy the people whose God is the Lord. Please continue to bless your people, Lord. Let our sons flourish like saplings grown tall and strong from their youth; our daughters graceful as columns, adorned as though for a palace. Let our crops and stock be blessed. May there be no sound of weeping on our streets.
Lord, please help us love and honor you every day. Don't let us ever forget your love

Listen

 

James 3.3-10: When a bit is put into a horse's mouth, the whole animal is under control. A tiny rudder can control a big ship. In the same way, if you can control your tongue, you can control every other part of yourself. The tongue is a whole wicked world in itself. It is so hard to control. We use it to bless God, but we also use it to curse people made in God's image.
Jesus, please help me control my tongue!

Listen


Matthew 27.27-31: After the Roman soldiers scourged Jesus, they made fun of him: 
- they put a red cloak on him.
- they made a crown out of thorns.
- they put a reed in his right hand. 
Then they knelt in front of him saying "Hail, king of the Jews". They spat on him. They took the reed and hit him with it. When they had finished making fun of him, they dressed him  in his own clothes and led him away to crucify him.

Jesus, please don't let me hurt other people by making fun of them

Listen

Reflection on the above readings:

From the beginning of human history, evil people have persecuted and killed good people. At the time of the Maccabees, many people died for their religion. Jesus died for his religion. Every 6 seconds today a Christian dies for his/her religion. A fully mature Christian is prepared to die for his/her faith.

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

204: Listen The current global situation engenders a feeling of instability and uncertainty, which in turn becomes "a seedbed for collective selfishness".

When people become self-centred and self-enclosed, their greed increases. 

The emptier a person's heart is, the more he or she needs things to buy, own and consume. 

It becomes almost impossible to accept the limits imposed by reality. 

In this horizon, a genuine sense of the common good also disappears.

As these attitudes become more widespread, social norms are respected only to the extent that they do not clash with personal needs. 

So our concern cannot be limited merely to the threat of extreme weather events, but must also extend to the catastrophic consequences of social unrest. 

Obsession with a consumerist lifestyle, above all when few people are capable of maintaining it, can only lead to violence and mutual destruction. 

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

187a: Listen  Each individual Christian and every community is called to be an instrument of God for the liberation and promotion of the poor, and for enabling them to be fully a part of society. This demands that we be docile and attentive to the cry of the poor and to come to their aidEach individual Christian and every community is called to be an instrument of God for the liberation and promotion of the poor, and for enabling them to be fully a part of society. This demands that we be docile and attentive to the cry of the poor and to come to their aid

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Interactive Bible Quiz - 1 Kings
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 poor centers by Chris, Heather (Abacus, HK), Marion & Kevin - from HK/Australia/New Zealand  (+ thank you Guangzhou Insurance College for kind donation to help poor students)

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 I guess the problem is me ...but the older I get ... the busier life is becoming. The good news is that the retirement age for priests in HK is ......wait for it .....85!

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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 17th
of the month, Jesus please bless the prisoners of Shaanxi

And praying for one of the world's poorest countries each day of the month:
On this 17th of the month,  Jesus please bless the people of Malawi

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

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Mon Oct 16

Because of Typhoon Signal No. 8 I ventured out only twice yesterday: for lunch at McDonald's with 8 homeless/special people ....a very happy meal; and for a canteen meal in the evening with two ex-addicts....also a happy meal. Three of the lunch group were due to go to the Mercy Centre on Cheung Chau Island last night. There are not many things in life as worthwhile as helping the poor ....

 

A beautiful true story by John Allen:
When Jihad met the Virgin

 

New letter in English by man from Guinea, again explaining how he was recruited, and again warning others not to be so tricked - here (Oct 5)

 

Letter in Spanish from a South American inmate in prison in HK for drug trafficking - here (Oct 13)

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

Esther 6-8: On the night between the two banquets, the king could not sleep. To induce sleep he started reading the history of his kingdom. He read how some years ago two of his eunuchs planned to assassinate him, but the plot was foiled by Mordecai. The king asked Haman how to honor a man whom the king wished to honor. Haman thought the king was talking about himself, Haman, so he suggested royal clothes, a royal horse and a royal parade. The king agreed and told Haman to honor Mordecai in this way. This was a great humiliation for Haman. And it got even worse for Haman. At the second banquet, Esther told the king that she was Jewish and that Haman planned to kill all Jews. The result: Haman was hanged on the gallows which he had prepared for Mordecai, and the Jews were not only spared annihilation - they were given places of honor in the kingdom. The Jews praised God for all his help through Mordecai.
Dear God, please stop people like Haman  from committing injustice
My recording of this reading:  01  02

 

Psalm 140-143: Lord, save me from people who do evil, you who do justice for the needy. I have no way out of this situation. And no one wants to help me. Lord, I beg you tonight to make haste and give me an answer, for my spirit fails within me. In the morning let me know your love for I put my trust in you.
Lord, please help people who are in big trouble

Listen

 

James 2.14-26: Faith and good works need to go together. Suppose someone is lacking clothes and food, and you say "I wish you well" and do nothing to help them. What good is that? Faith without good deeds is useless.
Jesus, please help me put my faith into action by good deeds
Listen


Matthew 27.1-26: Early in the morning, the religious leaders had Jesus bound with ropes. They then took him to Pilate, the Roman governor. The leaders accused Jesus of many crimes. To the governor's amazement, Jesus remained silent. The leaders persuaded the crowd to demand the execution of Jesus. They called out to Pilate "Crucify him". Pilate asked "Why? What has he done wrong?" The crowd shouted all the louder "Crucify him. Crucify him". Pilate then washed his hands in front of the crowd and said "I am innocent of this man's blood". The crowd shouted "His blood be on us and on our children". Pilate then ordered Jesus to be scourged and crucified.
Jesus,  help people who are condemned to death

Listen

 

Reflection on the above readings:

Pilate ordered Jesus to be scourged.... the Gospels don't go into the gory details of the scourging....a scourging that was meant to speed up death by making sure a person was half dead before being crucified. This medical article is hard to read ....not because of technical terms, but because of its terrible details about the suffering that a scourged/crucified person experienced. After reading it, all we can say is ...thank you Jesus...

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

203: Listen  Since the market tends to promote extreme consumerism in an effort to sell its products, people can easily get caught up in a whirlwind of needless buying and spending.

Compulsive consumerism is one example of how the techno-economic paradigm affects individuals.

Romano Guardini had already foreseen this: "The gadgets and technics forced upon him by the patterns of machine production and of abstract planning mass man accepts quite simply; they are the forms of life itself. To either a greater or lesser degree mass man is convinced that his conformity is both reasonable and just".

This paradigm leads people to believe that they are free as long as they have the supposed freedom to consume.

But those really free are the minority who wield economic and financial power. Amid this confusion, postmodern humanity has not yet achieved a new self-awareness capable of offering guidance and direction, and this lack of identity is a source of anxiety. We have too many means and only a few insubstantial ends

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

186: Listen  Our faith in Christ, who became poor, and was always close to the poor and the outcast, is the basis of our concern for the integral development of society's most neglected members

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10 years ago today:

First Breaking of Bread in Deqing church for 50 years

First visit to Deqing Shiyan Government Primary School

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 Check video at this site - a horse called "Witherspoon"!

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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 16th of the month, Jesus please bless the prisoners of Qinghai

And praying for one of the world's poorest countries each day of the month: 
On this 16th of the month, Jesus please bless the people of Afghanistan

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

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

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Sun Oct 15

  I am at present reading a fascinating book on the history of cocaine. Yesterday I was staggered to learn that the CIA played a large role in the spread of cocaine in the US:

Candy-Machine-001.jpg (37046 bytes) Candy-Machine-042.jpg (306189 bytes) Candy-Machine-043.jpg (303591 bytes)

 

  Video interview with my former student Bishop Mark Edwards O.M.I. - preparing for the Year of Youth

 

The disturbing case of an imprisoned Chinese priest

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

c.f. readings for Sunday 28

Isaiah 25: On Mount Zion in Jerusalem, the Lord will prepare for all peoples a banquet of rich food, a banquet of fine wines. On this mountain he will delete Death. The Lord will wipe away the tears from every cheek. Lord, you are my God, I extol you, I praise your name. You, Lord, are a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in distress.
Lord, please give hope and courage to people who are sad and troubled in the world today

My recording of this reading

 

Psalm 23: The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want. Fresh and green are the pastures where he gives me repose. Near restful waters he leads me, to revive my drooping spirit. He guides me along the right path. He is true to his name. If I should walk in the valley of darkness no evil would I fear. You are there with your crook and your staff; with these you give me comfort. You have prepared a banquet for me in the sight of my foes. My head you have anointed with oil. My cup is overflowing. Surely goodness and kindness shall follow me all the days of my life. In the Lord's own house shall I dwell for ever and ever.
Thank you, Lord, for being my good shepherd
Listen

 

Philippians 4.11-20: I have learnt how to manage on whatever I have. I am ready for anything anywhere: full stomach or empty stomach, poverty or plenty. There is nothing I cannot master with the help of the One who gives me strength. I thank you my friends for supporting me financially, especially when I was in great need. 
Jesus, bless everyone who has helped me in any way since the day I was born
Listen


Matthew 22.1-10: Jesus said to the chief priests and elders of the people: The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a feast for his son's wedding. He sent his servants to call those who had been invited, but they would not come. Next he sent some more servants. "Tell those who have been invited" he said "that I have my banquet all prepared, my oxen and fattened cattle have been slaughtered, everything is ready. Come to the wedding." But they were not interested: one went off to his farm, another to his business, and the rest seized his servants, maltreated them and killed them. The king was furious. He dispatched his troops, destroyed those murderers and burnt their town. Then he said to his servants, "The wedding is ready; but as those who were invited proved to be unworthy, go to the crossroads in the town and invite everyone you can find to the wedding." So these servants went out on to the roads and collected together everyone they could find, bad and good alike; and the wedding hall was filled with guests.

 

 

 Reflection on the above readings: 

Sometimes people in a group are not welcoming to new members. Don't want any more.
But God's policy is "always room for one more" ..."the more the merrier"...."a full house"


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

202: Listen  Many things have to change course, but it is we human beings above all who need to change.

We lack an awareness of our common origin, of our mutual belonging, and of a future to be shared with everyone.

This basic awareness would enable the development of new convictions, attitudes and forms of life.

A great cultural, spiritual and educational challenge stands before us, and it will demand that we set out on the long path of renewal.

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

185: Listen  In what follows I intend to concentrate on two great issues which strike me as fundamental at this time in history. I will treat them more fully because I believe that they will shape the future of humanity. These issues are first, the inclusion of the poor in society, and second, peace and social dialogue

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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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  Another Catholic typhoon visiting HK region today. Catholic. ...because it comes on a Sunday ...and from the Philippines!
But if it's Catholic why does it cause the cancellation of Masses? This morning's Masses cancelled because Signal No. 8 launched....the third time Masses have been cancelled over the past few months

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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 15th of the month, Jesus please bless the prisoners of Liaoning

And praying for one of the world's poorest countries each day of the month:
On this 15th of the month, Jesus please bless the people of Zimbabwe

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 Oct 14

I spent most of yesterday at Lai Chi Kok men's prison ...and it was like a holiday for me! After spending so much of Mon-Thurs at my computer doing office work, it was a pleasure to have a day off mixing with inmates! Except for a very expensive cup of tea: an Indian asylum seeker kindly offered me a cup of tea (the same as that which is provided for the inmates) and it was beautiful since I'd be doing a lot of talking and my throat was very dry. But when I finished the tea he asked me a favor: "You please find me a nice local Chinese girl to marry, so I can then get residence and stay in Hong Kong". Beware of Greeks (Indians) bearing gifts?!

 

 

25 million people die in agony without morphine every year

 

 

  Click here for daily posts at MercyHK!

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

Esther 5: After Esther prayed to God for a long time, she went to the palace and presented herself to the king. At first the king was angry that Esther came without being invited, but then his heart softened and he welcomed her. When King Ahasuerus saw that Esther was distressed, he asked her what was wrong. He promised to do anything for her. Esther asked that there be two special banquets for herself, the king and Haman.  The king agreed and the banquets were arranged. Haman meanwhile was making his own arrangements: a high gallows on which to hang Mordecai.
Dear God, please move the hearts of rulers to be kind to their people

My recording of this reading

 

Psalm 148: Praise the Lord from the heavens, praise him in the heights. Praise him all his angels, praise him all his spirits. Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, shining stars. Let them praise the name of the Lord. His word gave life to all of them. Praise the Lord from the earth, sea creatures and all oceans. Praise him fire and hail, snow and mist, stormy winds that obey his word. Praise him all mountains and hills, all fruit trees and cedars. Praise him all animals, wild and tame, reptiles and birds in the air. Praise him all earth's kings and peoples, earth's princes and rulers. Praise him young men and maidens, old people together with children. Let them praise the name of the Lord. He is the praise of all who love him.
Lord our God and Creator, you are worthy of all praise

Listen

 

James 2.1-13: Don't try to combine faith in Jesus Christ, our glorified Lord, with the making of distinctions between classes of people. Suppose two men come into your prayer meeting, one beautifully dressed and with a gold ring; the other poor and in shabby clothes. If you welcome the rich man, and look down on the poor man, you are making a big mistake. It was those who are poor according to the world that God chose to be rich in faith. So, never make distinctions between classes of people. Everyone is your neighbor. Love your neighbor as yourself. There will be judgment without mercy for people who have not been merciful. But merciful people need have no fear of judgment. 
Jesus, help me treat everyone equally and fairly. No favorites

Listen

 

Matthew 26.69-75: Peter went to the place where the religious leaders had Jesus on trial. A young woman in the courtyard of the place  said to him. "You are a friend of the Galilean". In front of the woman and people around her Peter said "I don't know what you're talking about". Peter went to the gateway of the place, where another woman said to people around her "This man is a friend of the Galilean". Peter replied strongly "I don't know the man". Not long after this a group of people said to Peter "You are his friend. We can tell by your Galilean accent". Then Peter even more strongly replied "I do not know the man". At that very moment, a rooster crowed. Peter remembered Jesus' words "Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times". Peter went outside and wept loudly.
Jesus, please help me not to deny you. Give me courage to say "I am a Christian"

Listen

Reflection on the above readings:

For the rest of his life Peter was probably disturbed each time he heard a rooster crow. No wonder he (Peter, not the rooster) turned out to be such a humble pastor ....his morning began with a humbling reminder of what happened that fateful Thursday night when Jesus was arrested

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

201: Listen The majority of people living on our planet profess to be believers. 

This should spur religions to dialogue among themselves for the sake of protecting nature, defending the poor, and building networks of respect and fraternity.

Dialogue among the various sciences is likewise needed, since each can tend to become enclosed in its own language, while specialization leads to a certain isolation and the absolutization of its own field of knowledge.

This prevents us from confronting environmental problems effectively.

An open and respectful dialogue is also needed between the various ecological movements, among which ideological conflicts are not infrequently encountered. 

The gravity of the ecological crisis demands that we all look to the common good, embarking on a path of dialogue which demands patience, self-discipline and generosity, always keeping in mind that "realities are greater than ideas"

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

184b: Listen  Furthermore, neither the Pope nor the Church have a monopoly on the interpretation of social realities or the proposal of solutions to contemporary problems.

Here I can repeat the insightful observation of Pope Paul VI: "In the face of such widely varying situations, it is difficult for us to utter a unified message and to put forward a solution which has universal validity. This is not our ambition, nor is it our mission. It is up to the Christian communities to analyze with objectivity the situation which is proper to their own country".

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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 14th of the month, Jesus please bless the prisoners of Jilin

And praying for one of the world's poorest countries each day of the month:
On this 14th of the month, Jesus please bless the people of Ehtiopia

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

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Fri Oct 13

Today is the 100th anniversary of the miracle of the sun at Fatima in Portugal 

 

Yesterday I had a most useful meeting with some people from Indonesia to warn Indonesian domestic workers in HK about the danger of being tricked/recruited by Nigerian Drug Lords and their associates ....in person or through social media....as happened to this Indonesian woman in prison whose letter in English is here

 

10,000 from migrant communities say "No" to same-sex marriage

 

Letter in Swahili from a Tanzanian woman in prison in HK for drug trafficking - here

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

Esther 4: When Mordecai heard about Haman's plan, Mordecai asked Esther to appeal to Ahasuerus for help. Mordecai and Esther both knew that to approach the king without an invitation was a crime punishable by death, unless the king saw fit to welcome an uninvited person. So they prayed to God to move the heart of Ahasuerus to welcome Esther.
Dear God, please move the hearts of rulers to care for their people

My recording of this reading

 

Psalm 139: O Lord, you search me and you know me. You know my resting and my rising. You know exactly what's going on in my life, all my ways are an open book to you. Before ever a word is on my tongue, you know, O Lord, what I'm going to say. Your knowledge is beyond my understanding, too high, beyond my reach. It was you who created my being, knit me together in my mother's womb. I thank you for the wonder of my life, for the wonders of all your creation.Lord, thank you for the gift of life. Please help me follow the path to eternal life
Listen

 

Revelation 12.1-6 (for Fatima anniversary): A great sign appeared in heaven: a Woman, dressed in the sun, standing on the moon, crowned with 12 stars. She was giving birth to a Child, and she cried out in the pain of childbirth. Then a second sign appeared: a huge red dragon, which wanted to eat the Child. The Woman gave birth to a Son, the ruler of all nations. The Son was taken straight up to heaven, to God on his throne. The Woman escaped to safety in the desert,
to a place prepared for her by God. 

Jesus, protect us from Satan who goes round like a hungry lion wanting to eat us

Listen


Luke 1.46-56 (for Fatima anniversary):
Mary said "My soul praises the greatness of the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my savior. Starting from today, all generations will call me blessed, for the Almighty has done great things for me". Mary stayed with Elizabeth about 3 months and then went home. Elizabeth gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives shared her joy. When the child was circumcised on the 8th day, he was given the name John. 
Jesus, please bless all women who are having a baby today

Listen

Reflection on the above Bible readings:

In 1982 I had the privilege of spending two nights in Fatima ... just like Lourdes ...a place of prayer where Mary helps us focus on Jesus. A great old movie: The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima (trailer)

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

 200: Listen  Any technical solution which science claims to offer will be powerless to solve the serious problems of our world if humanity loses its compass, if we lose sight of the great motivations which make it possible for us to live in harmony, to make sacrifices and to treat others well. 

Believers themselves must constantly feel challenged to live in a way consonant with their faith and not to contradict it by their actions. 

They need to be encouraged to be ever open to God's grace and to draw constantly from their deepest convictions about love, justice and peace. 

If a mistaken understanding of our own principles has at times led us to justify mistreating nature, to exercise tyranny over creation, to engage in war, injustice and acts of violence, we believers should acknowledge that by so doing we were not faithful to the treasures of wisdom which we have been called to protect and preserve. 

Cultural limitations in different eras often affected the perception of these ethical and spiritual treasures, yet by constantly returning to their sources, religions will be better equipped to respond to today's needs.

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

184a: Listen  This is not the time or the place to examine in detail the many grave social questions affecting today's world, some of which I have dealt with in the second chapter. 

This Exhortation is not a social document, and for reflection on those different themes we have a most suitable tool in the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, whose use and study I heartily recommend. 

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10 years ago today:

Thank you CAS teachers Clare and John for helping at Saturday Night English Corner at Ricci Memorial Center

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 For Fatima anniversary: 
Q: What was the Third Secret of Fatima?
A: Close Lourdes!

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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 13th of the month, Jesus please bless the prisoners of Jiangxi

And praying for one of
the world's poorest countries each day of the month:
 
On this 13th of the month, Jesus please bless the people of Mali

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

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Thu Oct 12

Moving letter in English from a Brazil man in prison for drug trafficking ... how poverty led him into the clutches of the Sao Paolo Drug Lords - here

 

Article in Russian media (in Russian!) about young Russians being tricked to become drug mules. Article mentions case of one young man in prison in HK


This is most disturbing:
Government pushes for easier sex changes for kids

Why HK and Australia need to fight against same-sex marriage .... to avoid this:
Pornography targeting youth in high schools, middle schools, and public libraries.

 

I won't intentionally help my patients to end their lives

 

This is a very important article - by John Allen:
Meeting Middle East Christians is where Western stereotypes go to die

 

Some new photos of SCMP function on Sep 29 are here

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

Esther 3: About this time Haman from the land of Agag was promoted by King Ahasuerus to a top position. All other officials were to bow and prostrate themselves before Haman. Mordecai refused to bow to Haman. This made Haman very angry. Haman found out that Mordecai was a Jew. Haman decided to kill Mordecai and all Jews in the kingdom. Ahasuerus agreed to Haman's plan and a decree to this effect was announced: all Jews were to be killed on the 14th day of the 12th month.
Dear God, please protect poor people from people like Haman

My recording of this reading

 

Psalm 138: I thank you, Lord, with all my heart. You have heard the words of my mouth. With the angels I will bless you. I will adore you in your holy temple. I thank you for your faithfulness and love which are far above what we can understand. On the day I called you answered. You increased the strength of my soul. All earth's kings shall thank you when they hear the words of your mouth. They shall sing of the Lord's ways: "How great is the glory of the Lord!" Though I walk in the midst of affliction you give me life and frustrate my foes. Your love, O Lord, is eternal. Do not abandon us whom you have made. 
Lord, when we remember how much you love us and help us, every day of the year is a Thanksgiving Day

Listen

 

James 1.26-27: Don't go thinking you're "religious" while your tongue is out of control. That's the wrong idea of religion. Genuine religion, in the eyes of God our Father is this: coming to the help of orphans and widows, and staying clear of bad values. 
Jesus, help me control my tongue ...and help me do more to help the poor

Listen


Matthew 26.57-68: The men who arrested Jesus took him to a meeting of the religious leaders. The leaders wanted to condemn Jesus to death, even if they had to use false evidence. Jesus remained silent before their accusations. Then the main leader challenged Jesus: "Are you the Saviour, the Son of God?" Jesus replied "Yes". The main leader then called out "We have heard him claim to be of Divine origin. This is blasphemy". The rest of the leaders shouted "He should die". Then they spat in Jesus' face and hit him with their fists.
Jesus, thank you for submitting yourself to insult and spittle for the salvation of the world
Listen

 

Reflection on the above Bible readings:

I can remember only one occasion when someone spat at me. I walking along a footpath one afternoon on the Gold Coast in Australia, very, very tired after just getting off a plane from HK early that morning ....for annual holiday, especially to see my aging mother .....when a 12 year old boy on a bike rode past me, on the footpath, and spat on my jumper. My exhausted bones came to life, I sprinted after him (and his companion) and caught him and confiscated his bicycle overnight in a nearby shop where the owner knew me. Bike was returned to boy the next day. A very unpleasant experience to be spat on. A tiny, tiny glimpse of what Jesus must have felt like. And in his case the spittle was onto his face. 

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

199: Listen It cannot be maintained that empirical science provides a complete explanation of life, the interplay of all creatures and the whole of reality. 

This would be to breach the limits imposed by its own methodology.

If we reason only within the confines of the latter, little room would be left for aesthetic sensibility, poetry, or even reason's ability to grasp the ultimate meaning and purpose of things.

I would add that "religious classics can prove meaningful in every age; they have an enduring power to open new horizons. Is it reasonable and enlightened to dismiss certain writings simply because they arose in the context of religious belief?"

It would be quite simplistic to think that ethical principles present themselves purely in the abstract, detached from any context.

Nor does the fact that they may be couched in religious language detract from their value in public debate. 

The ethical principles capable of being apprehended by reason can always reappear in different guise and find expression in a variety of languages, including religious language.

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

183d: Listen  All Christians, their pastors included, are called to show concern for the building of a better world.

This is essential, for the Church's social thought is primarily positive: it offers proposals, it works for change and in this sense it constantly points to the hope born of the loving heart of Jesus Christ.

At the same time, it unites "its own commitment to that made in the social field by other Churches and Ecclesial Communities, whether at the level of doctrinal reflection or at the practical level".

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 One dream I have is to help set up a sort of permanent "soup kitchen" in the form of a simple restaurant which could be self-supporting through ordinary business .... and which would be like McDonald's ....allowing needy people to stay overnight ...not in beds but at the tables. A possible name - as a thank you to McD's for their compassion: McMercy!

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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 12th of the month, Jesus please bless the prisoners of Jiangsu

And praying for one of the world's poorest countries each day of the month:
On this 12th of the month,  Jesus please bless the people of Guinea Bissau

And praying for one Islam-related intention each day of the week:
Jesus, today, Thursday, please pacify Al-Qaeda

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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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Australian Chinese for Families Association

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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 Fr John Wotherspoon O.M.I. 胡 頌 恆 神 父   
 jdwomi@gmail.com  HK mobile  +852- 67095674
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PO Box 74013 Kowloon Central Post Office, Hong Kong                      

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