30 April, 2020

Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me

~ John 6:45 ~

“The Spirit said to Phillip, go and join up with that chariot” (Acts 8:29). Phillip immediately ran to the chariot that was carrying an Ethiopian official who was on his way home to Ethiopia from Jerusalem. He was reading from the Prophet Isaiah. Phillip asked if he understood what he was reading. The Ethiopian official responded to Phillip, “How can I, unless someone instructs me?” (Acts 8: 31)


The same feelings of confusion and inability to grasp the meaning of something that the Ethiopian experienced, I have felt too – trying to understand the Good News but failing at times. During this time of COVID-19, many people are still trying to understand what the pandemic is all about? It has proven to be a complicated issue for many people in our country – especially the poor. The physical space for social distancing, and the washing of hands required to prevent the spread of the pandemic, is almost impossible. Numerous areas of our country have no access to water and people live in very cramped spaces.


This has resulted in the development of a defensive language. Things like, “amongst my community, no one has died of COVID-19,” are said. The socio-economic pressure is exacerbating the problem. From the outside, it seems that people are irresponsible and are not trying to curb the spread of the disease! I do not believe that we are an irresponsible nation.


We are a nation of prayer. During these trying times, let us contemplate or say a mantra to these words of Jesus: “They shall all be taught by God” (John 6:45). Let us open our hearts and not be afraid to be different. Let us listen to the teachings of Jesus, and be attentive to those sent to instruct us.


The earth is not only about business and money, but about taking care of it, and the people in it.


On this Feast of Our Lady Mother of Africa, we ask Our Lady to pray for us during this time of COVID-19.


We also ask Our Lady to ask her son Jesus to open our minds and bring into our hearts a spirit of kindness and patience.




Catholic Parliamentary

Liaison Office

Jesuit Institute
South Africa

Reflection prepared by

Ms Puleng Matsaneng

Puleng works in Spirituality and researches Ignatian Spirituality in an African context. Her area of speciality is in exploring how African themes and practices of spirituality dialogue with the Western traditions, and how that is understood in relation to Ignatian Spirituality. She has looked at how Ignatian Spirituality can be integrated into the African worldview. Most especially, how the use of song and storytelling can be part of the prayer process. She is currently managing retreats in daily life and training prayer guides. Puleng is also involved in ongoing Spiritual Direction, giving 8-day and 30-day retreats. Her latest venture is a pilot programme of healing workshops that use the principles of Ignatian Spirituality.

See more from Puleng Matsaneng

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