• St Monnica's Parish

A Healthy Nation?

Being part of the Wellness team of our parish in the past few months, I have been

busy with wellness as an idea and a reality more than usual. Because of social issues

like xenophobia, the heightened levels of violence in our society, high numbers of

deaths on South African roads, depression among adults and children that leads to

high levels of suicide, I asked myself so how healthy are we as a nation?

If we see our nation as one body or as a unit, an entity, what is our state of well-being?

Just thinking of this is already giving me a headache! What are the indicators which

will give us an idea as to our state of well-being? Because I am not just referring to the

wellness and health of an individual, I would like to agree with the definition of

health as defined by the World Health Organisation. It states that health is

"a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the

absence of disease or infirmity."

This definition resonates with me, as it invites me to begin to understand the

disconnectedness of the well-being of individuals to the political, social, economic

and spiritual realities we find ourselves in. The type of indicators we therefore need

to look at would be: national poverty rate, inequality rate, educational attainment, life

expectancy, employment and unemployment rates, obesity rate, fertility rate, health

expenditure, suicide rates, youth neither in employment, education nor training

(NEET rate), life satisfaction rates (objective and subjective), femicide, access to the

legal system, exposure to violence, corruption rates, etc..

It helps me understand that we need to look at our mission as disciples of Christ and

as the Church, the body of Christ in its fullness.

When Jesus tried to communicate to his disciples the nature of his mission said

the following: (John 10:10)

“ … I came that you may have life and have it in its fullness”.

If this is the mission of our Lord, it is also ours as Christians. We are

representatives of the Kingdom of God, we are to bring this full life, we are

becoming the life givers.

How do we do this then? Listen to the words of Jesus when he responds to someone who praises his wisdom, miracles and good works: (Luke 11:27-28)

27 While he was saying this, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him,

“Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts that nursed you!” 28 But he said,

“Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it!”

For us therefore to become the reason and source of fullness of life, is to seek out

God’s voice and words and to live it. This living it has to be in all spheres of life.


Our Parish Council this Saturday will sit for our annual planning day, reviewing

how we as a parish fared so far this year and what the parish as part of the Body

of Christ needs to do next year to ensure we contribute to healthy

parishioners, healthy families, healthy communities in Midrand and a healthy

nation.

Please join us on Sunday after 7h30 and the 9h00 service our Wellness Day, when we look

at our health and well-being as individuals. It promises to be a wonderful

experience, that may signal areas which may hinder from a physical health

perspective to live out God’s Word for fullness

of life.

Yours in Christ as always,

Revd Jacque


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+2711 805 5201

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Johannesburg

2198 South Africa

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