Engaging Faith | Mon, Aug 8, 2016
Nineteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time [c]
August 7, 2016
Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19 or 11:1-2, 8-12
Luke 12:32-48 or 12:35-40
August 6: Anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb over Hiroshima
August 9: Anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb over Nagasaki
August 9: International Day of the World's Indigenous People (A U.N. celebration)
August 12: International Youth Day (A U.N. celebration)
August 14: Feast of St. Maximilian Kolbe, priest and martyr
August 15: Feast of the Assumption of Mary
So do not be afraid, do not be afraid! God is great, God is good and we all have something good inside us.
-Pope Francis, WYD 2016 in Krakow, 27 July 2016
Today, it would be good for all of us to ask ourselves sincerely: in whom do we place our trust? In ourselves, in material things, or in Jesus? We all have the temptation often to put ourselves at the center, to believe that we are the axis of the universe, to believe that we alone build our lives or to think that our life can only be happy if built on possessions, money, or power. But we all know that it is not so. Certainly, possessions, money and power can give a momentary thrill, the illusion of being happy, but they end up possessing us and making us always want to have more, never satisfied. And we end up “full”, but not nourished, and it is very sad to see young people “full”, but weak. Young people must be strong, nourished by the faith and not filled with other things!
-Pope Francis, WYD 2013 in Brazil, 25 July 2013
We must repeat that the superfluous goods of wealthier nations ought to be placed at the disposal of poorer nations.
-Paul VI, Populorum Progressio, 49
The fundamental sin is exploitation, whether it be expressed in the domination of male over female, white over black, rich over poor, strong over weak, armed military over unarmed civilians, human beings over nature. These analogously abusive patterns interlock because they rest on the same base: a structure where an elite insists on its superiority and claims the right to exercise dominative power over all others considered subordinate, for its own benefit.
-Elizabeth Johnson, C.S.J., She Who Is, 27
Action on behalf of justice and participation in the transformation of the world fully appear to us as a constitutive dimension of the preaching of the Gospel, or, in other words, of the Church's mission for the redemption of the human race and its liberation from every oppressive situation.
-1971 Synod of Bishops, Justice in the World, 6
Being with Christ does not mean isolating ourselves from others. Rather, it is a “being with” in order to go forth and encounter others.
-Pope Francis, WYD 2013 in Brazil, 27 July 2013
Thoughts for Your Consideration
There seems to be contagious sense of fear spreading around our world in recent weeks and months. It has been expressed in our political discourse. It has increased as a reaction to terrorist attacks. It has been brought to light by numerous incidents between police and citizens especially among minorities and in even in attacks on police by citizens. It has been seen in a fear of immigrants and refugees and of people of other religions.
Jesus says to his disciples: "Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your God is pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your belongings and give alms. Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven that no thief can reach nor moth destroy. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.”
The way of Christ is the way of freedom not fear. It is the way of courage which is articulated in the letter to the Hebrews. It is the way of our ancestors in faith going back to Abraham.
The scriptures today invite us to keep our values (and valuables) in perspective and not to focus on the accumulation of money or possessions or control over others. The great people of faith who are discussed in Hebrews held onto values which transcended what was immediate. In this way they were so energized by their great faith that great things happened for them and their community.
To read the rest of this reflection from John Bucki, S.J., as well as his reflection questions, faith in action links, prayers of intercession, and prayer meditations, become a member of Education for Justice: http://bit.ly/1Ezao3d.
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