Engaging Faith | Wed, Apr 30, 2008
Seventh Sunday of Easter [a]
May 4, 2008
1 Peter 4:13-16
May 8: World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day
May 11: Mother's Day in the USA and some other countries as well
May 11: Pentecost
.... recognition of the transcendent value of every man and woman favors conversion of heart, which then leads to a commitment to resist violence, terrorism and war, and to promote justice and peace.
Benedict XVI, address at the UN, 18 April 2008
Our commitment to the Catholic social mission must be rooted in and strengthened by our spiritual lives. In our relationship with God we experience the conversion of heart that is necessary to truly love one another as God has loved us.
US Bishops, Sharing Catholic Social Teaching: Challenges and Directions
Solidarity is not a feeling of vague compassion or shallow distress at the misfortunes of so many people, both near and far. On the contrary, it is a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good, that is to say, to the good of all and of each individual because we are all really responsible for all.
John Paul II
The glory of God is a human person fully alive. A human person fully alive is the glory of God.
Because God is the creator, redeemer, lover of the world, God's own honor is at stake in human happiness. Wherever human beings are violated, diminished, or have their life drained away, God's glory is dimmed and dishonored. Wherever human beings are quickened to fuller and richer life, God's glory is enhanced. A community of justice and peace (thriving among human beings) and God's glory increase in direct and not inverse proportion.
Elizabeth Johnson CSJ, She Who Is
Thoughts for your consideration
- The early community "devoted themselves with one accord to prayer."
- Peter reminds us of the ideal solidarity with Christ and with one another, even to the point of solidarity with the suffering of Christ.
- The high priestly prayer of the gospel reading expresses Jesus' great desire that the whole community be one, even as it is "in the world."
In the complex global economy of today, we are challenged to live with this same sense of unity with one another, this same commitment to the common good, this same solidarity with those who suffer or are in need. In the midst of ethnic and political strife, we are invited to put into practice the "call to solidarity." In the midst war, we are called to work for peace. In the midst of injustice, we are called to discern the paths to justice for all. [After all Jesus prays for "eternal life to all."]
The Christian vision challenges any rugged individualism that fails to consider how our actions affect others, any greed that creates an economic system that locks people into poverty while others are excessively wealthy, any set of ethical values that excludes others from their human and economic rights, and any violence that fails to respect the dignity of other people.
Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group
When have you experienced disunity and discord in the Christian community?
When have you noticed a lack of solidarity or unity with those in need?
Actions - Links
This May marks the 25th anniversary of the US Bishop's The Challenge of Peace: God's Promise and Our Response. You can read the document at http://www.osjspm.org/the_challenge_of_peace_1.aspx
You can read about Pax Christi's plans for the anniversary of this document at
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute in their SIPRI Yearbook 2007 reports that world military expenditures in 2006 reached $1,204 billion in current dollars (1.2 trillion) with 15 countries having the highest spending and accounting for 83 per cent of the world total.
Prayers of Intercession
Response: Lord, help us to be one.
For an end to the war and terror in Iraq, we pray....
For an end to the war and fighting in Afghanistan, we pray....
For an end to the various wars in Africa, we pray....
For an end to all the dozens of wars that divide our world, we pray....
For an end to the violence that shows up all over our world, we pray....
For an end to all the preparations for war, we pray....
For an end to the world's spending for war and weapons, we pray....
For the grace to listen to one another, we pray...
For the grace of reconciliation and understanding, we pray....
For Spirit to come and lead us on the road to peace, we pray....
Prayer and Mediation
Jesus, share with me your spirit of freedom.
Bless me with the freedom to be aware.
Aware of your presence everywhere.
Aware of your compassionate love for all the world and its creatures.
Aware of sin and injustice, of violence and oppression.
Aware of propaganda, racism, and all untruth.
Aware of the possibilities for a new heaven and a new earth.
Aware of the possibilities for an active nonviolence and a loving witness for justice.
Aware of the possibilities for relationship and joy.
Bless me with the freedom to act.
To act without fear.
To act out of a deep relationship in prayer.
To act for what is right and good.
To act for justice and peace.
To act in solidarity with others.
To act in solidarity with you.
Jesus, bless me with the freedom to be alive as a child of God.