Men’s prayer meeting

by Bishop Jose Luis IMC

COVID19 has certainly affected the way we used to do things. In a number of cases we have just been completely unable to do “as we used to”.

At the same time it has also challenged us to find new ways to continue our being “baptised and sent”. Far from feeling there was nothing we could do and sitting down waiting for this to pass and go back to what should be normal, I am always amazed at the different initiatives being developed in our diocese.

One of them has been taken by the men.

“Before COVID19” the sodality of St Joseph used to meet once a month at the diocesan offices in Manzini. That already was something new. Aware that their members are scattered all over the country (and parishes) they chose to make an effort to come together in a central place for prayer, reflection, planning … and a good meal.

COVID19 stopped that completely. Unable to travel, unable to meet … they felt something had to be done to continue supporting each other spiritually.

They therefore agreed “to come together virtually” – via Zoom – every Saturday morning at 8.00 for half an hour of prayer.

The first part of the prayer (entrusted in advance to some of the members) includes a hymn, a psalm, a short reading, the “benedictus” and intercessions.

The second part brings Sunday’s gospel and the opportunity – for those who want to – to share on what it tells us. It is a great way to prepare for the Sunday Mass.

I was invited to join them whenever I would be available. Remembering St Augustine who said: “for you I am a bishop, with you I am a Christian” I have even set up a reminder on my phone to make sure I do not miss it.