Engaging Faith | Tue, Oct 8, 2013
Twenty-Eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time [c] October 13, 2013
Oct. 13, 2013
2 Kings 5:14-17
2 Timothy 2:8-13
Oct. 14: Columbus Day in the United States
Oct. 14: Thanksgiving Day in Canada
Oct. 14-15: Íd al-Adha, Islamic festival of sacrifice
Oct. 15: World Rural Women’s Day [See http://www.un.org/en/events/ruralwomenday/ ]
Oct. 16: World Food Day [See http://www.fao.org/getinvolved/worldfoodday/en/ .]
Oct. 17: International Day for the Eradication of Poverty [http://www.un.org/en/events/povertyday]
“Flagrant inequalities exist in the economic, cultural and political development of the nations: while some regions are heavily industrialized, others are still at the agricultural stage; while some countries enjoy prosperity, others are struggling against starvation; while some peoples have a high standard of culture, others are still engaged in eliminating illiteracy. From all sides there rises a yearning for more justice and a desire for a better guaranteed peace in mutual respect among individuals and peoples.”
- Pope Paul VI, Octogesima Adveniens, A Call to Action
“In the Sunday Eucharist, the believing heart opens wide to embrace all aspects of the church. But... far from trying to create a narrow ‘gift’ mentality, St. Paul calls rather for a demanding culture of sharing, to be lived not only among the members of the community itself but in society as a whole.”
- Pope John Paul II
“Unfortunately, we still encounter in the world a closed-minded attitude and even one of rejection, due to unjustified fears and concern for one's own interests alone. These forms of discrimination are incompatible with belonging to Christ and to the Church. Indeed, the Christian community is called to spread in the world the leaven of brotherhood and sisterhood, that fellowship of differences which we can also experience at our meeting today.”
- Pope John Paul II, June 2, 2000
“The measure of the greatness of a society is found in the way it treats those most in need, those who have nothing apart from their poverty.”
- Pope Francis, July 25, 2013
“Let us ask the Lord to give us the gentleness to look upon the poor with understanding and love, devoid of human calculation and fear.”
- Pope Francis, Sept. 24, 2013
Thoughts for your consideration
God desires good things for all people. God’s desire for good is not limited to any one group of people. Naaman is a foreigner, but he is still healed. Jesus heals all 10 people with leprosy including the Samaritan. God’s love is inclusive.
As followers of such a God, we too want to be inclusive. Such a perspective will effect how we relate to people from other parts of the world or other religious traditions or other racial and ethnic groups. Such a perspective will influence how we act on immigration issues or the welcoming of refugees or the struggle to give everyone access to quality health care. Such a way of thinking and seeing will influence how nations relate to each other or how they use the resources of our planet.
Genuine gratitude is a transforming experience that opens us up to others. It changes our whole way of looking at things and our way of behaving.
Naaman, the foreigner, is overwhelmed with gratitude and has a religious conversion after his healing. After his healing, the Samaritan runs back with enthusiasm to thank Jesus and to be part of the community of people around Jesus.
Genuine gratitude changes us. We see everything differently. It is an invitation to be open to all sorts of things – concern for the poor, concern for those who are different, desire for growth and change, commitment to community and the common good.
Gratitude is an invitation into fearlessness. It is an invitation into new life and joy – a new life and joy that can change our world and us and help us form real community.
Gratitude energizes us to live out the social teaching of our church and to share our gifts with the world.
Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group
When have you encountered someone in need who was different than yourself and asked you for help? How did you respond?
Share the story of an event that resulted in the feeling of deep gratitude and excitement in your life. How did this change your relationships and way of living?
“Tell me – if you can – how we will know when the night is over and the day has begun?”
Actions - Links
World Rural Women’s Day (Oct. 15): The idea of a World Rural Women's Day to be devoted each year to honor rural women began at a U.N. Conference for Women in Beijing in Sept. 1995. See http://www.un.org/en/events/ruralwomenday/
World Food Day (Oct. 16): For information about World Food Day and various activities connected with it go to http://www.fao.org/getinvolved/worldfoodday/en/ or http://www.worldfooddayusa.org/ . The theme this year is “Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition.” You might want to sign the petition to end hunger at http://www.1billionhungry.org/ . You might want to go to Bread for the World for more info to participate in their offering of letters at http://www.bread.org or at https://www.facebook.com/breadfortheworld .
Where do the poor and uninsured live in the United States?
(For example 17 percent of the 3 million cooks are poor and uninsured.)
How much money would it take to eliminate poverty in the United States?
Prayers of Intercession
Response: The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
We pray for all those who are hungry today.
We pray for all those who lack access to medical care,
We pray for refugees and immigrants.
We pray for those enslaved by unjust economic situations.
We pray for nations that are trapped by debt.
We pray for women and their children.
We pray for those caught up in the various civil wars around our world.
We pray for those caught up in the fighting in Syria, Afghanistan, the Congo, Pakistan, and so many other nations, and for all the people of those countries.
We pray for all those caught up in areas of fighting and violence.
Prayer: Psalm 146
A Psalm to praise God, who executes justice:
Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God all my life long.
Do not put your trust in princes,
In mortals, in whom there is no help.
When their breath departs, they return to the earth;
On that very day their plans perish.
Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
Whose hope is in the Lord their God,
Who made heaven and earth,
The sea, and all that is in them;
Who keeps faith forever;
Who executes justice for the oppressed;
Who gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets the prisoners free;
The Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
The Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the strangers;
He upholds the orphan and the widow,
But the way of the wicked He brings to ruin.
The Lord will reign forever,
Your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the Lord!
Copyright © 2013, Center of Concern