Engaging Faith | Thu, Jun 18, 2015
Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time [b]
June 28, 2015
Copyright © 2015 Center of Concern
Wisdom 1:13-15; 2:23-24
2 Corinthians 8:7, 9, 13-15
Mark 5:21-43 or 5:21-24, 35b-43
June 26: International Day in Support of Victims of Torture
July 1: Canada Day in Canada
July 4: Independence Day in the United States
Life, especially human life, belongs only to God: for this reason whoever attacks human life, in some way attacks God himself.
- John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, 9
We need to care for the earth so that it may continue, as God willed, to be a source of life for the entire human family.
- Pope Francis ?@Pontifex Apr 21, 2015
… we need only take a frank look at the facts to see that our common home is falling into serious disrepair.
- Pope Francis, Laudato Si, 61
The council lays stress on respect for the human person: everybody should look upon his or her neighbor (without any exception) as another self, bearing in mind especially their neighbor's life and the means needed for a dignified way of life, lest they follow the example of the rich man who ignored Lazarus, who was poor.
- Vatican II, Gaudium et Spes, 27
Today, there is an inescapable duty to make ourselves the neighbor of every individual, without exception, and to take positive steps to help a neighbor whom we encounter, whether that neighbor be an elderly person abandoned by everyone, a foreign worker who suffers the injustice of being despised, a refugee, an illegitimate child wrongly suffering for a sin of which the child is innocent, or a starving human being who awakens our conscience by calling to mind the words of Christ: "As you did it to one of the least of these my brothers or sisters, you did it to me" (Mt 25:40).
- Vatican II, Gaudium et Spes, 27
Life is like a voyage on the sea of history, often dark and stormy, a voyage in which we watch for the stars that indicate the route. The true stars of our life are the people who have lived good lives. They are lights of hope. Certainly, Jesus Christ is the true light, the sun that has risen above all the shadows of history. But to reach him we also need lights close by—people who shine with his light and so guide us along our way.
- Pope Benedict XVI, Spe Salvi, 49
Many things have to change course, but it is we human beings above all who need to change.
- Pope Francis, Laudato Si, 202
Thoughts for your consideration
The scriptures today affirm the value of life – human life, the lives of all creatures, and the life of the planet.
God desires life not death for all people. God desires a good quality of life for all people. The gospel stories reflect God’s desire to heal those who are ill and to bring people to the fullness of life and health.
God calls us to respect the creation that God has given us as a gift. It is not a thing for selfish exploitation or the profit of the few. Pope Francis in Laudato Si reminded us that widespread indifference and selfishness worsen environmental problems. Global dialogue and solidarity are needed.
In today’s gospel, the approach of Jesus is very “person centered.” He cares for individuals. He spends time with the woman who has the hemorrhage. He is not afraid that she is “unclean.” He drives out the crowds so that he can personally deal with the little girl and her family. He makes sure that the little girl has something to eat.
Keeping in mind the approach of Jesus, we may want to direct our attention to some of the particular issues that confront our world today.
- God wants life and health for all people, yet the marvels of modern health care are not available to all. This is still true in the United States where not everyone has access to insurance, and is dramatically true in the poorest nations of the world.
- “God did not make death, nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living.” Yet war and violence continue to result in death. Irresponsible environmental practices result in death and illness to countless people and to other creatures of the earth. War and terrorism continues all over the world. The use of the death penalty and practice of abortion continue to destroy life.
- The touch of Jesus is a healing touch. Yet, people are so often afraid of or denied the experience of a healthy, healing, loving touch. Groups and communities of people do not connect, but remain isolated from one another.
- Jesus responds to the need of the child who is ill. Yet, today countless children do not have the care, medicines, and preventive practices to stay health as they face illnesses like malaria or HIV/AIDS. The latest United Nations reports tell us that 800 million people experience hunger on some regular basis.
- God “does he rejoice in the destruction of the living.” God “fashioned all things that they might have being.” (Wisdom 1:1) God wants us to respect the wellbeing of all living things and of our planet. The environmental abuse of our word is a grave sin.
Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group
- As you reflect on the environment of your local community, where do you see things that need healing? Where do you see things that have been harmed or destroyed? What is our faith calling us to do?
- When have your encountered people who are in need of healing or health care and have not had access to it?
- Where do you see unnecessary death in our world?
Reflect on this story:
Flight of the Hummingbird, a parable for the environment
Actions – Links
On June 18, Pope Francis issued his encyclical, "Laudato Si: On the Care of the Common Home." You can read it at: http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20150524_enciclica-laudato-si.html
- You can ready a summary of ten significant points at: http://americamagazine.org/issue/top-ten-takeaways-laudato-si
- Find another summary here: https://vassallomalta.wordpress.com/2015/06/18/laudato-si-a-summary/
- For “Eight Ingredients of the First Third World Encyclical” go to: http://americamagazine.org/content/all-things/eight-ingredients-first-third-world-encyclical
- You can go to Jesuitresources.org and find lots of resources about ecology and sustainability at: http://www.xavier.edu/jesuitresource/news-events/Ecology-and-Sustainability.cfm
The United States makes up less than 5 percent of the population on earth, yet we easily consume over 30 percent of its resources.
Billions of plastic bags are made each year. Of these bags, one hundred billion are thrown away according to Worldwatch Institute, with less than 1 percent finding their way into a recycle bin. The end result of this is around 1 billion birds and mammals dying each year by the ingestion of plastic.
Americans dump 16 tons of sewage into their waters, every minute.
A large study has found that up to one half of all plant and animal species on dry land could face extinction by the year 2050 due to global warming. According to the World Resources Institute, 100 species die each day due to tropical deforestation.
Prayers of Intercession
Response: Our God is a God of life.
For the poor that they may have what the need to live a good life, we pray….
For those who are hungry, that they may have access to a good and healthy diet that will nourish their life, we pray…
For children, that they experience the life giving love of God, we pray….
For those without affordable health care, that they may have what they need to live a healthy and good life, we pray…..
For the people of the Middle East, that they may be able to live in peace, we pray….
For all people who are caught up in situations of war and terrorism anywhere in the world, we pray….
For our planet as it suffers from so much human misuse, we pray….
For a deep and profound respect for life from conception to natural death, we pray….
Prayer – Meditation
A Prayer for the World
Let the rain come and wash away the ancient grudges, the bitter hatreds held and nurtured over generations.
Let the rain wash away the memory of the hurt, the neglect.
Then let the sun come out and fill the sky with rainbows.
Let the warmth of the sun heal us wherever we are broken.
Let it burn away the fog so that we can see each other clearly, so that we can see beyond labels, beyond accents, gender or skin color.
Let the warmth and brightness of the sun melt our selfishness so that we can share the joys and feel the sorrows of our neighbors.
And let the light of the sun be so strong that we will see all people as our neighbors.
Let the earth, nourished by rain, bring forth flowers to surround us with beauty.
And let the mountains teach our hearts to reach upward to heaven.
- Rabbi Harold S. Kushner
(Author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People)
See the two prayers proposed by Pope Francis at the end of Laudato Si. http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20150524_enciclica-laudato-si.html
|Lectionary Reflections-Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time [b] June 28.2015 .pdf||2.37 MB|