Engaging Faith | Fri, Apr 22, 2016
Sixth Sunday of Easter [c]
May 1, 2016
Acts 15:1-2, 22-29
Revelation 21:10-14, 22-23
May 1: May Day, International Worker’s Day, Feast of St. Joseph the Worker
May 1: Eastern Orthodox Easter
May 5 or 8: Feast of the Ascension (depending on your diocese in the U.S.)
May 5: Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah) beginning the evening before
May 8: Mother’s Day in the United States, Canada and elsewhere
Love for others, and in the first place love for the poor, in whom the Church sees Christ himself, is made concrete in the promotion of justice.
-John Paul II, Centesimus Annus, 1991
The Church’s conviction of the inseparability of justice and charity is ultimately born of her experience of the revelation of God’s infinite justice and mercy in Jesus Christ, and it finds expression in her insistence that man himself and his irreducible dignity must be at the centre of political and social life.
-Benedict XVI, 28 April 2007
Christian love of neighbor and justice cannot be separated. For love implies an absolute demand for justice, namely a recognition of the dignity and rights of one's neighbor. Justice attains its inner fullness only in love.
-1971 Bishops’ Synod, Justice in the World, 34
A charity that loves and serves the person is never able to be separated from justice. Each in its own way demands the full, effective acknowledgment of the rights of the individual, to which society is ordered in all its structures and institutions.
-John Paul II, Christifideles Laici, 42
Finally, may Christ inflame the desires of all people to break through the barriers which divide them, to strengthen the bonds of mutual love, to learn to understand one another, and to pardon those who have done them wrong. Through His power and inspiration may all peoples welcome each other to their hearts as brothers and sisters, and may the peace they long for ever flower and ever reign among them.
-John XXIII, Pacem in Terris, 171
The royal road to peace is to see others not as enemies to be opposed but as brothers and sisters to be embraced.
-Pope Francis @Pontifex, 19 April 2016
Thoughts for Your Consideration
Religion can cause lots of harm and confusion or it can become a source of life and hope to people. Looking at history, we might say that there exists good religion and bad religion. We like to think that the religion which we practice is “good religion” - religion which leads people to life and peace and justice.
In the first reading the men and women in Antioch have heard religious messages or opinions that have upset them and disturbed their peace of mind. There is tension and conflict. The issue is brought to the community in Jerusalem. The community consensus is not to impose anything that gets in the way of the spirit – that gets in the way of the freedom and joy of the people of God in Antioch or anywhere else – that gets in the way of liberation.
In the heavenly Jerusalem envisioned in the second reading, things are so simple and direct, that there is no need for a temple – the presence and glory of God is everywhere. As Jesus in the gospel makes clear: the spirit comes and the gift is peace.
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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