NOVEMBER 21, 2013
Our Spiritual Reflection is taken from a meditation on our Daily Prayer of the Order that begins with Lord Jesus.
We might begin by reflecting on the question: Just who is the Lord Jesus? Jesus asked His apostles, “Who do you say that I am?” When we think about Him, do we envision a stern taskmaster, or a gentle, loving Lord?
In a way, these two images of the Lord can frame different images of what the Order of Malta ought to be about. For our Order is both a military and a hospitaller order, the one word suggesting force and discipline, the other gentleness and healing. Just as our Order has both characteristics, so does the Lord; we ignore either at our peril. Scripture offers us many vignettes of both. But for the present, let us attend to the gentle, loving Lord.
Many of us grew up thinking that although the New Testament presents a kind Jesus, the Old Testament offers us a harsh and vengeful God. While it is easy to understand this reaction, the Old Testament is also filled with images of a merciful, loving and forgiving Lord. Recall the words of the Lord through the prophet Isaiah (Isa 49; 15-16 (NJB)
Even if these were to forget,
I shall not forget you.
Look I have engraved you on the palms of my hands
The New Testament contains hundreds of passages showing God’s love and compassion. Archbishop Alban Goodier, SJ, in The Public Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ concluded that a dominant theme of the Gospels was Jesus’ determination to look past the bad and see the good in every person.
Archbishop Goodier found this theme in the familiar parable of the Prodigal Son. As Luke tells the story, after the younger son had rejected his father and spent his share of the inheritance, he finally decided to return.
The father in this parable, who clearly represents the father of us all, must have been watching the road in hopes that his son would finally come home – because he “caught sight of him while he was still a long way off.” Imagine a parent so loving that he waits, day after day, year after year, watching patiently for a son who had in effect said to him: “I can’t wait until you are dead.” As Archbishop Goodier said, the Lord “will see the good effort and will ignore the deception; while it is yet a great way off He will discover it, and will be moved with compassion, and, running to it will fall upon its neck and kiss it.”
This generosity of the Lord is what leads us to service in the Order. It is as if He has been so “hospitable” to us that we feel we must be Hospitallers to others.
(adapted from Malta Reflections by Shep Abell, published by the Paulist Press 2005.)
HOLY FAMILY HOSPITAL OF BETHLEHEM FOUNDATION
CHRISTIAN MISSION OF THE ORDER OF MALTA
Holy Family Hospital of Bethlehem Foundation, a shared work of the three US Associations, has awarded Robert Lively, KMoB the Star of Bethlehem Award at its fall meetings. This award honors those who have given exceptional service to the Holy Family Hospital and its Foundation. Many years ago Rob heard the call of the Blessed Mother asking him to help the mothers and babies in our Hospital in Bethlehem.
Rob’s yes entailed his joining the board in 2005 and serving as president since 2010. Using his top lobbyist talents on Capitol Hill Rob convinced a US Senator and Congressman to secure a US Congressional Appropriation for the Hospital in the form of a 3.5 million dollar USAID grant for refurbishing and appointing the hospital with state of the art equipment. This Congressional action on behalf of a little hospital in a neglected region gave the world a new regard for a tiny hospital carrying out the Christian mission of the Order of Malta.
Holy Family Hospital, located in Bethlehem not far from the original hospital of our Order, is one of the three Hospitaller priorities of the Order. It is a work supported across the Associations and Priories around the world.
The Foundation also took the opportunity to wish farewell to our Executive Director, Colleen Marotta. Colleen served the Foundation in an exemplary manner for 11 years building the annual fund, the parish missionary program and the baby shower program. The members of the Foundation recognized Colleen with a necklace and medal featuring a depiction of the Holy Family. On behalf of the Foundation, we wish Colleen well in her new career.
HOLY FAMILY HOSPITAL OF BETHLEHEM FOUNDATION
SPIRITUAL JOURNEY TO THE HOLY LAND
Each day of Advent, starting on December 1st, a prayer, spiritual thought, or way you can help the mothers and babies in Bethlehem will be posted to an interactive calendar on the Foundation website. Spiritual messages will help you focus on the most important part of the Christmas season, the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Holy Family Hospital is a principal hospitaller work of the Order of Malta. Its US foundation is a shared work of all three US associations. The Foundation supports Holy Family Hospital in Bethlehem in the Holy Land. The Grand Master has asked all members throughout the world to share in its support.
TYPHOON HAIYAN UPDATE
Following the November 8 Typhoon Haiyan, Malteser International is caring for 1,750 families on the islands of Bantayan, Samar and Bohol with food, tents, hygiene articles and construction materials, and distributing water purification tablets for up to 30,000 people. With 3,976 confirmed deaths, 1,598 missing and 18,175 injured, the Eastern Visayas region was the worst hit. The city of Tacloban on the island of Leyte lies in ruins – it had a population of 220,000. Read more -
2014 ANNUAL APPEAL
November 2013 - June 2014
Knights of Malta ®
Every Gift Matters!
The 2014 Annual Appeal is now three weeks old and, as of November 19, we have received $222,514 from 177 Members, 9 Chaplains, and 11 Candidates.
Donate now online to support the noble works of the Association, including Typhoon Haiyan Relief.
There are many ways to commit your support. Whether you are mailing in a contribution, completing a gift of stock, or applying for matching gifts from your employer, Dani DeWitt is always available to help with any questions.
ORDER OF MALTA NEW ORLEANS HOME REPAIR PROGRAM
We need four teams of 15-20 volunteer workers for each of the weeks listed below. Volunteers will arrive on Sunday afternoon, and check into the New Orleans Marriott on Canal Street.
January 19-24, 2014
February 23-28, 2014
March 23-28, 2014
ST. MARY'S SOUP KITCHEN - MEMPHIS
Members of the Memphis region are heavily involved in working with St. Mary's Soup Kitchen, located at St. Mary’s Catholic Church. It is the oldest, continuously running soup kitchen in the country, founded in 1870. Last year the Soup Kitchen fed 91,000 meals (about 300 per day, six days a week). Fr. John Hourican, a magistral chaplain for the Order, is pastor. Read more -
MALTESER INTERNATIONAL NEW MIAMI HEADQUARTERS
Faster Emergency Relief
Miami. The world’s oldest Christian charity is opening the first branch of its humanitarian relief agency in the United States. Malteser International, the relief agency of the Order of Malta – a lay Catholic order founded in Jerusalem over 900 years ago – opened its American headquarters in greater Miami on Nov. 8. Read more -