Engaging Faith | Fri, Apr 18, 2008
Sixth Sunday of Easter [a]
April 27, 2008
Acts 8:5-8, 14-17
1 Peter 3:15-18
April 27: Orthodox Easter
May 1: Feast of the Ascension (Depending on the diocese)
May 1: Usually the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker; International Workers' Day
May 3: World Press Freedom Day
If you do not hope, you will not find what is beyond your hopes.
St. Clement of Alexandria
In the joy of the resurrected Lord, trustful of his permanent help, we go ahead, sure that God will help. And Mary, his most beloved Mother, stands on our side.
Benedict XVI, 19 April 2005
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, Apostolic Letter of 14 May 1971, (#2)
Love of neighbor is an absolute demand for justice, because charity must manifest itself in actions and structures which respect human dignity, protect human rights, and facilitate human development. To promote justice is to transform structures which block love.
1971 Synod of Bishops, Justice in the World
Those who sit atop the social and economic pyramid always speak of love, while those at the bottom always speak of justice.
Thoughts for your consideration
If one is aware of world problems, one can feel overwhelmed and discouraged. Justice for the poor, peace between nations, food for all the hungry, housing for the homeless, equal rights for all men and women, human rights for the oppressed, and an end to war and violence, can all seem to be impossible.
The first reading talks of joy and healing. Catholic Social teaching must not fall into the trap of discouragement and guilt. God is calling us and our world to healing and even joy.
The second reading speaks of hope. The healing that God wants for our world can happen. Good can overcome evil.
The gospel speaks of a relationship of love and solidarity between the Father and Jesus and then with all of us. This unity and solidarity can be made real, not just in our hearts or not just in an interior feeling, but also in the way people are treated and in the way love is expressed in action for justice and peace.
As people of faith we are more aware than ever of countless world problems and examples of injustice. As people of faith we are more aware than ever that we want an end to all the injustice. As people of faith we believe more than ever that with God's help we can offer something better to our world and its people.
Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group
In the midst of world problems, what signs of hope do you see?
What things give you hope?
Actions - Links
April 27 to May 3 is "Cover the Uninsured Week," an effort to make health care coverage for all Americans a priority. Find out more at: http://covertheuninsuredweek.org/ . Interfaith materials can be found at http://covertheuninsuredweek.org/interfaith/ .
From data from the US Census Bureau a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation project reports that "47 million individuals lacked health insurance coverage of any kind during 2006. Other research shows that tens of millions more Americans go without health coverage for shorter periods of time. The percentage of the non-elderly population that is uninsured has climbed steadily from 15.9 percent in 1994 to 17.9 percent in 2006."
The Children's Defense Fund calculates that "9.4 million children in America are living without health coverage" and that "every 41 seconds, a child is born uninsured."
Prayers of Intercession
Response: Loving God, give us a new Spirit for justice and peace.
For all who are sick, especially those without insurance, we pray....
For all our children, especially those with a quality education, we pray....
For all workers, especially those who find themselves without a living wage or enough work, we pray.....
For all those in the military, especially those in Iraq and Afghanistan, we pray....
For all those who are living in nations without true political freedom and guarantees of human rights, we pray....
A Christian Prayer for Peace
Blessed are the PEACEMAKERS,
for they shall be known as
the Children of God.
But I say to you that hear,
love your enemies,
do good to those who hate you,
bless those who curse you,
pray for those who abuse you.
To those who strike you on the cheek,
offer the other also,
and from those who take away your cloak,
do not withhold your coat as well.
Give to everyone who begs from you,
and of those who take away your goods,
do not ask them again.
And as you wish that others would do to you,
so do to them.