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neighbourhood christian community


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n 27th April 2014, the Church celebrates the canonization of two Popes. Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II. When the Church declares someone as saint, it is really lifting up this person as a model to inspire the rest of us. As human, we are all faced with our own limitation; the Church knows this, so the declaration of saints are to show us that despite human weakness, there are men and women who strive to live holiness through their lives. These then, are models to inspire us and for us to imitate. Let us consider what the two popes had done in their lives that we can learn from.



ope John Paul II was born Karol Jozef Wojtyla on 18 May 1920. Many of us would remember him because he was pope for 27 years. In his long pontificate, he was known to have initiated the World Youth Day celebration. He also wrote many letters, documents and teachings, among the rich diverse writings, Pope John Paul II had emphasized the universal call to holiness. In his apostolic letter ‘Novo Millennio Ineunte’ at the close of the great jubilee year of 2000, he wrote: “holiness is not only a state but a task, whereby Christians should strive for a full Christian life, imitating Christ, the Son of God, who gave his life for God and for his neighbor.” For Pope John Paul II, the pursuit of holiness was top priority. This holiness is not just for few people but the whole church of faithful as taught in the Vatican II document Lumen Gentium. Our ‘work’ or ‘task’ of holiness, as lay people is to live this Christlikeness in our daily life. Our family, our work place, our neighborhood are places where we make holy by our way of being Christ to others. As such, the community is important for all baptized because it is the space where we encouraged each other in our imitation of Christ in holiness and together, we are a sign of God’s love and hope for others.

ope John XXIII was the roly-poly jolly pope who called for the Second Vatican Council that surprised many. The council updated the understanding of the Church in the modern world and the important role that lay people play in making holy the temporal order. This understanding brought about many lay involvement in the Church’s mission today. Pope John XXIII was born Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli on 25 November 1881. One thing that we can learn from jolly Pope John XXIII is his respect for everyone. He always had great respect for each person, considering everyone for his or her own merits and accord each one with dignity as a child of God. This is something we can learn to imitate especially s we rejoice with the whole Church in the in our NCC. When we respect everyone in our canonization of the two popes, we want to community and accord and treat all as children remember what they have left us and continue of God, we show those around us a glimpse of to draw strength and inspiration from the way the Kingdom that is filled with love, peace and they have lived their lives. harmony. We give hope to others by the way we treat all with dignity and respect.