Engaging Faith | Tue, Jun 26, 2012
Lectionary reflections for July 1, 2012- the Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time [b]
Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time [b]
July 1, 2012
Wisdom 1:13-15; 2:23-24
2 Corinthians 8:7, 9, 13-15
Mark 5:21-43 or 5:21-24, 35b-43
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
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
Thoughts for your consideration
The scriptures today affirm the value of life. 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.
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 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 United Nations reports that almost a billion people experience hunger.
Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group
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?
God's Perfection: The Story of a Special Needs Child
Actions – Links
Follow the Nuns on the Bus tour (June 17 to July 2) at http://nunsonthebus.com/
“As Catholic Sisters, we are missioned to stand with people in need and to be witnesses for economic justice. Jesus said, "You will be my witnesses not only in Jerusalem but throughout Judea and Samaria, and indeed to earth's remotest end." (Acts 1:8)”
Get involved with Network, a Roman Catholic Social Justice Lobby, at
Corporate profit margins just hit an all-time high.
Fewer Americans are working than at any time in the past three decades.
Wages as a percent of the economy are at an all-time low.
The latest edition of UNICEF's report on child poverty showed the United States ranks second out of 35 developed countries on the scale of what economists call “relative child poverty” with 23.1 percent of its children living in poverty. Only Romania ranked higher. It was another shameful reminder that, as economist Sheldon Danziger put it, “Among rich countries, the U.S. is exceptional. We are exceptional in our tolerance of poverty.”
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 children, that they the life giving love of God, 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 those without affordable health care, that they may have what they need to live a healthy and 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 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)