Engaging Faith | Tue, May 13, 2008
Trinity Sunday [a]
May 18, 2008
Exodus 34:4b-6, 8-9
2 Corinthians 13:11-13
May 21: World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and
May 22: International Day for Biological Diversity http://www.cbd.int/ibd/2008/
May 25: Africa Day
May 26: Memorial Day in the US [to remember those killed in the various wars of the nation]
The solidarity which binds all people together as members of a common family makes it impossible for wealthy nations to look with indifference upon the hunger, misery and poverty of other nations whose citizens are unable to enjoy even elementary human rights. The nations of the world are becoming more and more dependent on one another and it will not be possible to preserve a lasting peace so long as glaring economic and social imbalances persist.
John XXIII, Mater et Magistra, #157
A spirituality of communion indicates above all the heart's contemplation of the mystery of the Trinity dwelling in us, and whose light we must also be able to see shining on the face of the brothers and sisters around us.
John Paul II, Novo Millennio Ineunte
God reveals himself to us as one who is not alone, but rather as one who is relational, one who is Trinity. Therefore, we who are made in God's image share this communal, social nature. We are called to reach out and to build relationships of love and justice.
Sharing Catholic Social Teaching: Challenges and Directions,
Reflections of the U.S. Catholic Bishops
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, 14
Each member of the human family is equal in dignity and has equal rights because we are all children of the one God. We are sisters and brothers to each other. We understand God to be a trinity of persons and so we see the image of God reflected not only in individuals, but also in communities. Together in community we bear the image of our God whose very nature is communal.
Thoughts for your consideration
In some ways today's scriptures for Trinity Sunday are a story of discovery - the discovery of God - the discovery of who God is, what God is like and what God offers to us.
On the mountain, Moses finds a God with whom he can converse in some way. Moses finds a God with whom he (Moses) wants to walk. Moses asks this God to journey with all the people.
Again and again, in the scriptures we discover a God of relationship. God is more than totally other. We discover a God traveling with us and with the whole community. Our God is a social God - a God who is concerned with our world and its people.
The second reading reminds us that the relationship that exists within God (Trinity) also mirrors the relationship that should exist within us as a human community - a relationship of mutuality and support - a relationship of love and respect. Jesus reminds us in the gospel that God travels with us not to condemn but to love - to be of help to all of us.
Our teaching about God and the great mystery of God is a social teaching. As God is a social being, so are we. Any good theology of God has social implications. It calls us to social values. Our religious faith involves a community of mutual support and discovery. It involves a set of values that we share in common and call us to share with each other. Therefore, we are concerned with the issues of the world and everyday life. We are concerned with justice and peace. We focus on the common good. We have hope in the midst of all the problems and challenges of the world.
We are concerned about any political and economic power that excludes the poor. We are concerned for the protection of the environment. We are concerned about those attitudes that see people simply as consumers. We are concerned about domestic violence, the violence and war in Iraq and elsewhere, and all forms of violence. We are concerned with those who are in need whether it is the people in Burma who have been affected by the recent cyclone, or those who have lost jobs here in the United States, or those who cannot pay for increasingly more expense rice in Haiti, or those who work in the developing world without a living wage,
We are concerned about any spirituality that disconnects us from these concerns for the world.
Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group
When have you discovered God as someone who is journeying with your community?
When has God blessed you with the experience of being in community with others?
Actions - Links
Not for Sale is a campaign to end modern day slavery and human trafficking. You can find out more at http://www.notforsalecampaign.org/. "Over the past year, Not for Sale has been greatly encouraged by the response from churches and faith communities across the United States towards the issue of human trafficking. In less than a year, over 2500 congregations have verbally committed themselves 'Abolitionist Churches', affirming their stance against modern day slavery in all its forms and declaring their unity with those that are oppressed."
For information on the divide between income, wealth, health, etc. go to http://www.inequality.org/
The FAO is the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Their April report includes the following:
- The FAO Food Price Index continued to increase since the start of the year and by March 2008 it averaged 220, as much as 80 points (57 percent) more than in March 2007. Prices of nearly all food commodities have risen since the beginning of the year supported by a persistent, tight supply and demand situation. In 2007, the index averaged 157, up 23 percent from 2006.
- The FAO Cereal Index firmed since the start of 2008, averaging 283 in March 2008, up 45 points from January.
- The FAO Sugar Index in the first three months of 2008 averaged 166, which is 29 points above the corresponding value in 2007.
- The FAO Oils/Fats Index in the first quarter of 2008 reached 269, which is 133 points (or 98 percent) above the corresponding value in 2007.
Prayers of Intercession
Response: May we share the fullness of life in Christ.
For the people of our world as they struggle with higher food prices, we pray.....
For the people of Myanmar as they recover from the deadly cyclone, we pray....
For the people of our nations who have lost jobs or homes in our recession, we pray.....
For the people of Iraq whose nation continues to be torn apart by violence, we pray.....
For those children of the world who still do not have access to education, we pray....
For all those who do not have access to quality health care, we pray....
For all the people of the world who desire to live in peace and harmony, we pray....
Teach me your Way, O Lord
Lord, Teach me your way of treating others - sinners, children, Pharisees, Pilates and Herods, and also John the Baptists.
Teach me your way of eating and drinking, and how to act when I'm tired from work and need rest.
Teach me compassion for the suffering, the poor, the blind, and the lame. You who shed tears, show me how to live my deepest emotions. Above all, I want to learn how you endured your Cross.
Teach me your way of looking at people: the way you glanced at Peter after his denial, the way you touched the heart of the rich young man and the hearts of your disciples.
I would like to meet you as you really are, since you change those who really know you. If only I could hear you speak as when you spoke in the synagogue of Capernaum or on the Mount of Beatitudes!
Give me grace to live my life, within and without, the way you lived your life, O Lord.