Prayer and Reflection by Bishop Sylvester David OMI

Auxiliary Bishop Sylvester David offers his prayer and reflection for the people of the Archdiocese of Cape Town for today, Friday 21 August 2020, during this time of the coronavirus pandemic. It is also available on the Archdiocese of Cape Town’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. Please also see below the text of his reflection, primarily for the deaf. 

Reflection for Friday 21st August 2020: Ezekiel 37:1-14

Many years ago when I worked in the Formation ministry of the Oblates, our Superior Fr Emile Moteaphala OMI would listen when there were problems, and would ponder what was said to him and then give us his counsel. On a few occasions when we were without hope and situations seemed impossible to resolve, Fr Emile would say something like “trust in God and you will see great things”. I remember that every time he said this he was right – “for nothing is impossible to God” (Matthew 19:26, Luke 1:37). 

In our first reading of today’s Mass, the prophet is faced with an impossible situation. He describes a vision in which he has to confront Israel’s total annihilation. He has to walk among the skeletal remains brought about by forces stronger than the chosen people. The context was the Exile during which Israel’s life was disturbed, disrupted and torn apart. In this context the fertile imagination of prophecy announces new life – “for nothing is impossible to God”. The situation of hopelessness becomes the fertile ground for divine intervention. 

Our lives have been disturbed, disrupted and torn apart by an invisible enemy more powerful than ourselves. We have only God who can, as the liturgy says, keep us “safe from all distress”. But being safe from all distress is not merely a situation of neutrality. Conversion means moving from commitment to one thing to commitment to something else. We need to revise our lifestyles. We need to see the ways in which we have drifted from the original template and start to relate more meaningfully to the Lord, the neighbour and the ecology. It is this action that will bring about the new life described by the text. 

Let us pray:
“Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil,
graciously grant peace in our days,
that by the help of your mercy
we may be always free from sin
and safe from all distress,
as we await the blessed hope
and the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.


Bishop Sylvester David OMI
VG: Archdiocese of Cape Town

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