Engaging Faith | Tue, Oct 29, 2013
Solemnity of All Saints, November 1, 2013
November 1, 2013
Revelation 7:2-4, 9-14
1 John 3:1-3
Oct. 31: Halloween
Nov. 1: All Saints Day
Nov. 2: All Souls Day
Nov. 5: Election Day in the United States
“Let us go forward in hope!”
- Pope John Paul II, “Novo Millennio Ineunte”
“Love – caritas – is an extraordinary force which leads people to opt for courageous and generous engagement in the field of justice and peace.”
- Pope Benedict XVI, “Caritas in Veritate”
“In an increasingly globalized society, the common good and the effort to obtain it cannot fail to assume the dimensions of the whole human family, that is to say, the community of peoples and nations, in such a way as to shape the earthly city in unity and peace, rendering it to some degree an anticipation and a prefiguration of the undivided city of God.”
- Pope Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate
“A spirituality of communion means, finally, to know how to ‘make room’ for our brothers and sisters, bearing ‘each other's burdens’ (Gal 6:2) and resisting the selfish temptations which constantly beset us and provoke competition, careerism, distrust and jealousy.”
- Pope John Paul II, Novo Millennio Ineunte
“Now is the time for a new ‘creativity’ in charity, not only by ensuring that help is effective but also by ‘getting close’ to those who suffer, so that the hand that helps is seen not as a humiliating handout but as a sharing between brothers and sisters. We must therefore ensure that in every Christian community the poor feel at home.”
- Pope John Paul II, Novo Millennio Ineunte
“Too often we participate in the globalization of indifference. May we strive instead to live global solidarity.”
- Pope Francis Oct. 26, 2013
Thoughts for your consideration
In Revelation 7:9 we read: “I had a vision of a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people, and tongue.” God’s vision, God’s desire for holiness among people, is to include all people, the whole world.This vision certainly challenges all the contemporary ideologies that exclude people of certain ethnic groups or nationalities or races. Holiness and salvation is inclusive.
The values of Jesus – the values of the saints – contrast markedly with the values that we see play out in parts of our contemporary culture where greed, prestige, power, security, wealth, status and the like are often assumed to be signs of success and happiness. The gospel message is clearly counter-cultural.
Each of the Beatitudes may remind us of some aspect of Catholic Social Teaching:
- Our preferential option for the poor
- Our concern for anyone who is suffering, especially from injustice
- The profound dignity of every person irrespective of wealth or power
- Our hunger for justice in the world and in its institutions and structures
- Our concern for both justice and mercy in our criminal justice system
- Our profound respect for life in all it forms
- Our care for the earth as a gift from God to be shared by all
- Our passion for nonviolence and peace
- Our willingness to face opposition and to live by values different from those of our culture
Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group
Which of the Beatitudes do you find most challenging?
How does it challenge your way of living?
Who are the saintly “justice people” in your community and how do they inspire or encourage your own life?
Who are the people who you consider saints, even if they have not yet be canonized?
Jim Martin SJ writes in the New York Times about two unlikely saints:
Actions – Links
Remembering those who have died
In the Catholic Church and other Christian churches, November is a traditional month to remember those who have died.All Souls Day is Nov. 2.
- The Children’s Defense Fund released its annual report “Protect Children, Not Guns.” Almost 3,000 children and teens are killed by firearms each year in the United States. Find out more at http://www.childrensdefense.org/child-research-data-publications/data/pr...
- Bread for the World reports that almost 16,000 children die every day from hunger-related causes. http://www.bread.org/learn/hunger-basics/
- The Kaiser Family Foundation reports that in 2012, 1.7 million people died of AIDS. http://www.globalhealthfacts.org/data/topic/map.aspx?ind=7
Halloween and All Saints Day
Prayers of Intercession
Response: God we are grateful.
In gratitude for all the good and holy people who have blessed our lives, we pray…
In gratitude for all those who have spent their lives and energy taking care of the poor and sick and dying, we pray…
In gratitude for all those who have spoken up for justice, we pray…
In gratitude for all the peacemakers in our world, we pray…
In gratitude for those who have been made to suffer or have been imprisoned for their work for what is good and just, we pray…
In gratitude for all who have given their lives as they have lived out the call to work for peace and justice, we pray…
Prayer - Meditation
Prayer for Those Affected by Physical, Sexual, Political or Emotional Violence
By The Rev. Patricia Sandra Horton, Birmingham, Ala.
Copyright © 2013, Center of Concern