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Ir-Raba Hadd tal-Ghid
Written by Trevor Sultana   
Sunday, 25 April 2010

Ta' kull sena, ir-raba Hadd tal-Ghid jipprezentalna lil Gesu' bhala r-Raghaj it-tajjeb, u ghalhekk dan il-Hadd huwa wkoll Jum il-Vokazzjonijiet, fejn ahna, fuq l-ordni ta' Gesu', nitolbu lil Sid il-hsad biex jibghat iktar haddiema fil-hsad tieghu.  Il-qari fil-liturgija tal-lum huwa: I Qari - Atti 13, 14.43-52; II Qari - Apok. 7, 9.14b-17; Evangelju - Gw. 10, 27-30.  Gesu' huwa r-raghaj it-tajjeb proprju ghax jaghti hajtu ghan-naghag tieghu li huma ahna.  Int taghmel parti minn din il-merhla ta' Gesu' - Gesu' jisma lehnek kull meta ssejjahlu, jafek sew, kapaci jaghtik hajja bla tmiem, jipprotegik meta tghaddi mid-dlam.  Kemm tieqaf tahseb fuq din l-imhabba ta' Gesu'?  Qed tilqaghha jew ghalik ma tfisser xejn?  Tipprova tesperjenzaha fit-talb?

 
The Pope's Final Words to the Maltese - Sunday 18th April 2010
Written by Mary Xerri   
Tuesday, 20 April 2010
 

Mr President,
Your Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The time has come for me to bid farewell to Malta. I thank God for the opportunity to meet so many of you and
to visit this beautiful island. I thank the President for his gracious words and I thank all of you who have given me such
a warm and generous welcome. My journey has given me a deeper appreciation of how the Gospel preached by Saint Paul has shaped the spiritual identity of the Maltese people. As I leave you, let me encourage you once more to cultivate a deep awareness of your identity and to embrace the responsibilities that flow from it, especially by promoting the Gospel values that will grant you a clear vision of human dignity and the common origin and destiny of mankind. Be an example, at home and abroad, of dynamic Christian living. Be proud of your Christian vocation. Cherish
your religious and cultural heritage. Look to the future with hope, with profound respect for God’s creation, with reverence for human life, and with high esteem for marriage and the integrity of the family! Kunu wlied denji ta’ San Pawl! [Beworthy sons and daughters of Saint Paul!]

On account of its geographical position in the heart of the Mediterranean, many immigrants arrive on Malta’s
shores, some fleeing from situations of violence and persecution, others in search of better conditions of life. I am aware of the difficulties that welcoming a large number of people may cause, difficulties which cannot be solved by any country of first arrival on its own. At the same time, I am also confident that, on the strength of its Christian roots and its long and proud history of welcoming strangers, Malta will endeavour, with the support of other States and international organizations, to come to the aid of those who arrive here and to ensure that their rights be respected.
These noble goals depend on an unwavering dedication to the challenging task of dialogue and cooperation within
the international and European communities, key forums in which Malta bears witness to the Christian values that have
helped to shape her identity. Unity, solidarity and mutual respect stand at the basis of your social and political life. Inspired by your Catholic faith, they are the compass that will guide you in the search for authentic and integral development.

The treasure of the Church’s social teaching will inspire and guide these efforts. Never allow your true identity to be
compromised by indifferentism or relativism. May you always remain faithful to the teaching of Saint Paul, who exhorts you to “be watchful, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love” (1 Cor 16:13-14).
Grazzi ħafna, il-Bambin iberikkom! [Many thanks and may God bless you!]

 
Pope Benedict XVI's message to the Youths - Sunday 18th April 2010 at Valletta Waterfront
Written by Mary Xerri   
Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Żgħażagħ Maltin u Għawdxin, jien kuntent ħafna li ninsab magħkom,
[Dear young people of Malta and Gozo, I am very happy to be with you,]
What a joy it is for me to be with you today on your native soil! On this significant anniversary, we thank God for sending the Apostle Paul to these islands, which were thus among the first to receive the Good News of Our Lord Jesus
Christ. I warmly greet Archbishop Cremona, as well as Bishop Grech whom I thank for his kind words, and all the bishops, priests and religious who are here. Most especially, I greet you, young people of Malta and Gozo, and I thank you for speaking to me of the matters that concern you most deeply. I appreciate your desire to seek and find the truth, and to know what you must do to attain the fullness of life.
Saint Paul, as a young man, had an experience that changed him for ever. As you know, he was once an enemy of
the Church, and did all he could to destroy it. While he was travelling to Damascus, intending to hunt down any Christians he could find there, the Lord appeared to him in a vision. A blinding light shone around him and he heard a voice saying, “Why do you persecute me? … I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting” (Acts 9:4-5). Paul was completely overcome by this encounter with the Lord, and his whole life was transformed. He became a disciple, and went on to be a great apostle and missionary. Here in Malta, you have particular reason to give thanks for Paul’s missionary labours, which spread the Gospel throughout the Mediterranean. Every personal encounter with Jesus is an overwhelming experience of love. Previously, as Paul himself admits, he had “persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it” (Gal 1:13). But the hatred and anger expressed in those words was completely swept away by the power of Christ’s love. For the rest of his life, Paul had a burning desire to carry the news of that love to the ends of the earth.
Maybe some of you will say to me, Saint Paul is often severe in his writings. How can I say that he was spreading
a message of love? My answer is this. God loves every one of us with a depth and intensity that we can hardly begin to
imagine. And he knows us intimately, he knows all our strengths and all our faults. Because he loves us so much, he wants to purify us of our faults and build up our virtues so that we can have life in abundance. When he challenges us because something in our lives is displeasing to him, he is not rejecting us, but he is asking us to change and become more perfect. That is what he asked of Saint Paul on the road to Damascus. God rejects no one. And the Church rejects no one. Yet in his great love, God challenges all of us to change and to become more perfect. Saint John tells us that perfect love casts out fear (cf. 1 Jn 4:18). And so I say to all of you, “Do not be afraid!” How many times we hear those words in the Scriptures! They are addressed by the angel to Mary at the Annunciation, by Jesus to Peter when calling him to be a disciple, and by the angel to Paul on the eve of his shipwreck. To all of you who wish to follow Christ, as married couples, as parents, as priests, as religious, as lay faithful bringing the message of the Gospel to the world, I say, do not be afraid! You may well encounter opposition to the Gospel message. Today’s culture, like every culture, promotes ideas and values that are sometimes at variance with those lived and preached by our Lord Jesus Christ.
Often they are presented with great persuasive power, reinforced by the media and by social pressure from groups hostile to the Christian faith. It is easy, when we are young and impressionable, to be swayed by our peers to accept ideas and values that we know are not what the Lord truly wants for us. That is why I say to you: do not be afraid, but rejoice in his love for you; trust him, answer his call to discipleship, and find nourishment and spiritual healing in the sacraments of the Church.
Here in Malta, you live in a society that is steeped in Christian faith and values. You should be proud that your
country both defends the unborn and promotes stable family life by saying no to abortion and divorce. I urge you to
maintain this courageous witness to the sanctity of life and the centrality of marriage and family life for a healthy society. In Malta and Gozo, families know how to value and care for their elderly and infirm members, and they welcome children as gifts from God. Other nations can learn from your Christian example. In the context of European society, Gospel values are once again becoming counter-cultural, just as they were at the time of Saint Paul. In this Year for Priests, I ask you to be open to the possibility that the Lord may be calling some of you to give yourselves totally to the service of his people in the priesthood or the consecrated life. Your country has given many fine
priests and religious to the Church. Be inspired by their example, and recognize the profound joy that comes from
dedicating one’s life to spreading the message of God’s love for all people, without exception. I have spoken already of the need to care for the very young, and for the elderly and infirm. Yet a Chritian is called to bring the healing message of the Gospel to everyone. God loves every single person in this world, indeed he loves everyone who has ever lived throughout the history of the world. In the death and Resurrection of Jesus, which is made present whenever we celebrate the Mass, he offers life in abundance to all those people. As Christians we are called to manifest God’s all-inclusive love. So we should seek out the poor, the vulnerable, the marginalized; we should have a special care for those who are in distress, those suffering from depression or anxiety; we should care for the disabled, and do all we can to promote their dignity and quality of life; we should be attentive to the needs of immigrants and asylum seekers in our midst; we should extend the hand of friendship to members of all faiths and none. That is the noble vocation of love and service that we have all received. Let it inspire you to dedicate your lives to following Christ. La tibżgħux tkunu ħbieb intimi ta’ Kristu. [Do not be afraid to be intimate friends of Christ .]

Dear young people, as I take my leave of you, I want you to know that I am close to you and I remember you and
your families and friends in my prayers. “Selluli għaż-żgħażagħ Maltin u Għawdxin kollha.” [“Give my greetings to all young people of Malta and Gozo.”]

 
Pope Benedict XVI's Homely - Sunday 18th April 2010
Written by Mary Xerri   
Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Jesus Christ,
Maħbubin uliedi [My dear sons and daughters],


I am very glad to be here with all of you today before the beautiful church of Saint Publius to celebrate the great mystery of God’s love made manifest in the Holy Eucharist. At this time, the joy of the Easter season fills our hearts because we are celebrating Christ’s victory, the victory of life over sin and death. It is a joy which transforms our lives and fills us with hope in the fulfilment of God’s promises. Christ is risen, alleluia!
I greet the President of the Republic and Mrs Abela, the civil authorities of this beloved Nation, and all the people
of Malta and Gozo. I thank Archbishop Cremona for his gracious words, and I also greet Bishop Grech and Bishop
Depasquale, Archbishop Mercieca, Bishop Cauchi and the other bishops and priests present, as well as all the Christian
faithful of the Church in Malta and Gozo. Since my arrival yesterday evening I have experienced the same kind of warm

welcome which your ancestors gave the Apostle Paul in the year sixty. Many travellers have disembarked here in the course of your history. The richness and variety of Maltese culture is a sign that your people have profited greatly from the exchange of gifts and hospitality with seafaring visitors. And it is a sign that you have known how to exercise discernment in drawing upon the best of what they had to offer. I urge you to continue to do so. Not everything that today’s world proposes is worthy of acceptance by the people of Malta. Many voices try to persuade us to put aside our faith in God and his Church, and to choose for ourselves the values and beliefs by which to live. They tell us we have no need of God or the Church. If we are tempted to believe them, we should recall the incident in today’s Gospel, when the disciples, all of them experienced fishermen, toiled all night but failed to catch a single fish. Then, when Jesus appeared on the shore, he directed them to a catch so great that they could scarcely haul it in. Left to themselves, their efforts were fruitless; when Jesus stood alongside them, they netted a huge quantity of fish. My dear brothers and sisters, if we place our trust in the Lord and follow his teachings, we will always reap immense rewards.
Our first reading at Mass today is one that I know you love to hear, the account of Paul’s shipwreck on the coast
of Malta, and his warm reception by the people of these islands. Notice how the crew of the ship, in order to survive, were forced to throw overboard the cargo, the ship’s tackle, even the wheat which was their only sustenance. Paul urged them to place their trust in God alone, while the ship was tossed to and fro upon the waves. We too must place our trust in him alone. It is tempting to think that today’s advanced technology can answer all our needs and save us from all the perils and dangers that beset us. But it is not so. At every moment of our lives we depend entirely on God, in whom we live and move and have our being. Only he can protect us from harm, only he can guide us through the storms of life, only he can bring us to a safe haven, as he did for Paul and his companions adrift off the coast of Malta. They did as Paul urged them to do, and so it was “that they all escaped safely to the land” (Acts 27:44).

More than any of the cargo we might carry with us – in terms of our human accomplishments, our possessions, our
technology – it is our relationship with the Lord that provides the key to our happiness and our human fulfilment. And he calls us to a relationship of love. Notice the question that he put three times to Peter on the shore of the lake: “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” On the basis of Peter’s affirmative response, Jesus assigns him a task – the task of feeding his flock. Here we see the basis of all pastoral ministry in the Church. It is our love for the Lord that must inform every aspect of our preaching and teaching, our celebration of the sacraments, and our care for the people of God. It is our love for the Lord that moves us to love those whom he loves, and to accept gladly the task of communicating his love to those we serve. During our Lord’s Passion, Peter denied him three times. Now, after the Resurrection, Jesus invites him three times to avow his love, in this way offering him healing and forgiveness and at the same time entrusting him with his mission. The miraculous catch of fish underlined the apostles’ dependence on God for the success of their earthly projects. The dialogue between Peter and Jesus underlined the need for divine mercy in order to heal their spiritual wounds, the wounds of sin.

In every area of our lives we need the help of God’s grace. With him, we can do all things: without him we can do nothing. We know from Saint Mark’s Gospel the signs that accompany those who put their faith in Jesus: they will pick up serpents and be unharmed, they will lay their hands on the sick, who will recover (cf. Mk 16:18). These signs were
immediately recognized by your forebears when Paul came among them. A viper attached itself to his hand, but he simply shook it off into the fire, and suffered no harm. He was taken to see the father of Publius, the protos of the island, and after praying and laying hands on him, Paul healed him of his fever. Of all the gifts brought to these shores in the course of your people’s history, the gift brought by Paul was the greatest of all, and it is much to your credit that it was immediately accepted and treasured. Għożżu l-fidi u l-valuri li takom l-Appostlu Missierkom San Pawl. [Preserve the faith and values transmitted to you by your father the Apostle Saint Paul.] Continue to explore the richness and depth of Paul’s gift to you and be sure to hand it on not only to your children, but to all those you encounter today. No visitor to Malta could fail to be impressed by the devotion of your people, the vibrant faith manifested in your feast-day celebrations, the beauty of your churches and shrines. But that gift needs to be shared with others, it needs to be articulated. As Moses taught the people of Israel, the words of the Lord “shall be upon your heart, and you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down and when you rise” (Deut6:6-7). This was well understood by Malta’s first canonized Saint, Dun orŸ Preca. His tireless work of catechesis, inspiring  young and old with a love for Christian doctrine and a deep devotion to the Incarnate Word of God, set an example that I urge you to maintain. Remember that the exchange of goods between these islands and the world outside is a two-way process. What you receive, evaluate with care, and what you have that is of value, be sure to share with others.
I would like to address a particular word to the priests present here, in this year devoted to a celebration of the
great gift of the priesthood. Dun Ġorġ was a priest of remarkable humility, goodness, meekness and generosity, deeply
devoted to prayer and with a passion for communicating the truths of the Gospel. Let him serve as a model and an
inspiration for you, as you strive to fulfil the mission you have received to feed the Lord’s flock. Remember, too, the
question that the Risen Lord put three times to Peter: “Do you love me?” That is the question he asks each of you. Do you love him? Do you wish to serve him through the gift of your whole lives? Do you long to bring others to know and love him? With Peter, have the courage to answer, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you,” and accept with grateful hearts the beautiful task that he has assigned you. The mission entrusted to priests is truly a service to joy, to God’s joy which longs to break into the world (cf. Homily, 24 April 2005).
As I look around me now at the great crowds gathered here in Floriana for our celebration of the Eucharist, I am
reminded of the scene described in our second reading today, in which myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands
united their voices in one great song of praise: “To the One seated on the throne and to the Lamb, be all praise, honour, glory and power, for ever and ever” (Rev 5:13). Continue to sing that song, in praise of the risen Lord and in thanksgiving for his manifold gifts. In the words of Saint Paul, Apostle of Malta, I conclude my words to you this morning: “L-imħabba tiegħi tkun magħkom ilkoll fi Kristu Ġesù” [“My love is with you all in Christ Jesus”] (1 Cor 16:24).
Ikun imfaħħar Ġesù Kristu! [Praised be Jesus Christ!]

 
Messagg mill-Isqfijiet
Written by Mary Xerri   
Tuesday, 20 April 2010

L-Isqfijiet Maltin jixtiequ jirringrazzjaw lill-poplu ta’ dawn il-Gżejjer għas-sehem tagħhom fl-Ewkaristija, madwar il-Qdusija tiegħu l-Papa, fuq il-Fosos tal-Furjana, kif ukoll dawk li segwew permezz tal-mezzi tax-xandri. Il-folla kbira ta’ nies miġbura minkejja li l-ġurnata bdiet bix-xita turi li Ġesu’ Kristu Hu fil-qalb tal-poplu tagħna.

F’din l-okkażjoni l-isqfijiet offrew lil-Papa f’isem kulħadd, għotja ta’ €35,000, għall-vittmi tat-terremot ta’ Ħaiti miġbura mill-insara tad-Djoċesijiet ta’ Malta u Għawdex. Ġie mgħoddi wkoll lill-Papa volum li fih jigbor eluf ta’ messaġġi (sms) mibgħuta lill-Qdusija Tiegħu il-Papa. F’dawn il-messaġġi ħafna qed jawguraw lill-Papa, jweduh it-talb tagħhom, juruh is-solidarjeta’ tagħhom u jistaqsuh biex jitlob għalihom u għall-familji tagħhom.

 
Il-Familja u l-Paci
Written by Mary Xerri   
Friday, 16 April 2010

Editorjal li deher fil-FamiljaKana ta' Jannar 2010 miktub minn Dun Joseph Mizzi

 

Wahda mix-xewqat profondi taghna l-bnedmin hija l-paci.  Il-paci ma tigix wahedha izda trid kontinwament tahdem ghaliha.

 B'paci qed nifhem il-paci mieghek innifsek, mal-ohrajn u mal-ambjent ta' madwarek.  Il-paci hija dak il-valur li jaghtina s-sigurta' u t-trankwillita' li ghandna bzonn biex nistghu tassew nghixu.  Il-paci fil-familja m'hemmx isbah minnha.

Li thossok f'armonija mal-gheziez tieghek hija balzmu.  M'hemmx ghafejn nghidu, xi darba jew ohra gieli ma naqblux bejnietna ghax, kif jighidu, "anki l-imsaren igergru", izda minkejja xi opinjonijiet differenti li jista' jkollna m'ghandniex nitilfu l-paci minn qalbna.

X'nistghu naghmlu biex nevitaw il-konflitt u n-nuqqas ta' qbil bejnietna fid-dar?  Hawn isfel se naghti biss tmien suggerimenti kif nistghu nahdmu ghall-paci fil-familji taghna.

Agharfu li z-zwieg mhux "jien" biss, izda "ahna".  Iz-zwieg huwa qabza mill-"jien" ghall-"ahna".  Ghaldaqstant kollox irid jigi ragunat mil-lenti ta' "ahna".  Il-glieda mal-"jien" hija iebsa, izda hija t-triq zgura ghas-success fl-armonija tal-koppja.

Ahdmu fuq il-kaz jew diffikulta' mill-ewwel u direttament.  Tidfnuhiex hajja, anzi ohorguha fil-berah u ahdmu fuqha minnufih.  Thalluhiex tkissirkom. 

Meta l-mara u r-ragel tkunu qeghdin f'diskussjoni bejnietkom ibqghu fuq dak is-suggett u solvu dik l-isfida.  Taqlaghx sfidi ohrajn maghha.  Izzidux argumenti ohra.  Iddahhlux tal-imghoddi, taqlughux hama ghax iddardar l-ilma kollu.

Tisfidawx, timpikawx, theddux, twebbsux raskom.  Fuq kollox din mhux xi kompetizzjoni min minkom ser jirbah, izda okkazjoni biex tirbah il-koppja.  Jekk xi parti tirbah u l-parti l-ohra tkun tilfet, sincerament ma jkun rabah hadd, anzi jkun tilef it-tim tal-koppja. 

Twegghux lil xulxin bi kliemkom.  Taqghux fit-tghajjir ghax toholqu hafna ugiegh.

Ippruvaw isimghu izjed u taraw kif il-parti l-ohra bil-mod il-mod tibda tisma' izjed ukoll.

Tibqghux ibsin.  Ipprattikaw il-metodu ta' give and take fejn kulhadd icedi bicca u hekk flimkien timxu pass iehor 'il quddiem.

Iccelebraw kull darba li tkunu solvejtu xi tilwima ghax dik hi rebha sabiha ghall-koppja.  Din tghinkom biex taraw il-progress taghkom bhala koppja u ssahhah il-hiliet u l-kapacitajiet taghkom li tahdmu izjed flimkine.

 Il-Mulej iberikkom

Dun Joseph Mizzi

 

Last Updated ( Friday, 16 April 2010 )
 
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