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World Parkinson’s Disease Day – 11 April

World Parkinson’s Disease Day marks the birthday of Dr. J Parkinson.  On this day there are efforts made to increase the public awareness of this terrible disease, as well as all the good works put forth by the world’s organizations dedicated to eradicating this disease. 

Dr. Parkinson first described the disease in “An Essay on the Shaking Palsy”, he described a pattern of lessened muscular power, involuntary tremulous motion, even if these are supported.  There is at tendency to bend the body forwards, and to involuntarily switch from a walking to a running pace, while the sense and intellect deteriorate.

One of the prominent symbols of Parkinson’s disease is the red tulip, and this was established at the 9th World Parkinson’s disease Day at the Luxembourg Conference.  The story of the Red Tulip can be tied back to J.W.S. Van der Wereld, a Dutch Horticulturalist who was suffering from Parkinson’s disease.  He had successfully generated a Red and White Tulip, and named it in honor of the man who named his medical condition. On the tail of this, the Tulip received the Award of Merit, granted by the Royal Horticultural Society in London, and then was granted the Royal General Bulb Growers, Trial Garden Award.

Many people do not understand what Parkinson’s is, or are unaware of how to identify it.  In the interest of promoting awareness of this disease, a simplified description follows.  It is a disorder that results in the degeneration of the central nervous system, and directly impacts those that nerves that handle motor functions for the body as a whole. As the disease advances, it becomes apparent from the slowness of their body, and the increasing stiffness of their limbs that there is a developing problem.  Their limbs will begin to shake uncontrollably as it gets further on, and eventually an entire scope of additional symptoms will develop as more and more motor functions are impacted.  Sufferers are often tired, and memory problems become more apparent as time goes on.

Source: Text (summary): DAYSoftheYEAR  Image: HydroWorx

 

Palm Sunday, Year B

As an introduction to the celebration of Palm Sunday, we are given a choice between two gospel texts:
one from Mark (11:1-10) and the other from John (12:12-16).
In the shorter text from John, one verse caught my attention:

“At the time, his disciples did not understand…
Later… they remembered.”
 
It was not the only time that the apostles were puzzled by what Jesus said and did.
At times, back at home, they would question him and asked for explanations (Mk.7:17).
I often think they were lucky to have Jesus answer their questions!…
Yet, even seeing Jesus with their own eyes and sharing daily life with him, it seems that this did not enable them to understand everything…

On the day when Jesus entered Jerusalem acclaimed by the crowd as king, his close friends could not figure out how and why he agreed to this display of admiration.
In fact, people were welcoming him as king and Messiah – the promised Saviour God was to send them one day.
Now, they believed that this day had come and Jesus was the one they had been waiting for to free them from the domination of strangers.
Of course, they did not understand either!

Looking at life and events, it is all too obvious that there are many situations when we simply do not understand God’s ways.
He does not conform to our standards.
He does not fit into our categories.
He does not act as we would expect God to do.
And that is because… he is GOD.

This answer seems too easy and yet… is there any other that can explain God’s ways?
The apostles understood what had happened only LATER… “after Jesus had been glorified.”
For us, too, often some time must elapse before we come to see the purpose of what has happened in this or that situation…

Accepting not to understand, not to see clearly right there and then.
Accepting God’s… delays, God’s time, God’s rhythm for our lives, for our world…

Note: Another reflection is available in French on a different theme at: https://image-i-nations.com/dimanche-rameaux-annee-b/

Source: Image: YouTube