Engaging Faith | Tue, Jun 3, 2008
Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time [a]
June 8, 2008
June 6: Child Health Day
God is ACTION - let us be like God.
- Frances Willard
In a world characterized by growing prosperity for some and pervasive poverty for others, Catholic teaching proclaims that a basic moral test is how our most vulnerable members are faring. In a society marred by deepening divisions between rich and poor, our tradition recalls the story of the Last Judgment (Mt 25:31-46) and instructs us to put the needs of the poor and vulnerable first.
Sharing Catholic Social Teaching: Challenges and Directions
Reflections of the U.S. Catholic Bishops
Action on behalf of justice and participation in the transformation of the world fully appear to us as a constitutive dimension of the preaching of the Gospel, or, in other words, of the Church's mission for the redemption of the human race and its liberation from every oppressive situation.
1971 Synod, Justice in the World
We have a lot of work to do. Every time we reach out and assuage someone's hunger, and do that in memory of Jesus, a sense of Eucharist will bring to consciousness the Spirit and the real presence of Jesus - in us, through us, among us. That Spirit alone is capable of transforming us and the world.
Miriam Therese Winter, MMS
Love for widows and orphans, prisoners, and the sick and needy of every kind is as essential to her [the Church] as the ministry of the sacraments and preaching of the Gospel. The church cannot neglect the service of charity anymore than she can neglect the sacraments and the word.
Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est, 22
Thoughts for your consideration
The scriptures today remind us of some of God's special concerns. Jesus "hangs out with" tax collectors and sinners rather than with self-righteous people. Hosea talks about a religion that is something more than piety. God desires love, not just pious actions. [Shallow religiosity and pious actions can be like the dew that evaporates quickly.]
God is concerned about actions of righteousness. God is concerned for those at the margins. God is concerned for those who are left out - the foreigner, the person who is left out because of his or her history, the immigrant, the minority, and the poor.
In Catholic Social Teaching, we talk about a preferential option for the poor. It is an option that is more substantial than pious religious practices or a superficial practice of prayer. God does not want some religious sacrifices or offerings but a renewal of us all and a spirit that is welcoming of the poor, the refugee, the vulnerable person, and all those in need.
As Matthew discovers, for those who follow Jesus, the pursuit of excellence is not the same as the acquisition of possessions.Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group
Jesus is not afraid to be with the tax collector or any other kind of person.
When have you been blessed by gathering with people who were different than yourself?
How were you enriched?
Actions - Links
June is Torture Awareness Month. The Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition International (TASSC) is an organization founded by and for torture survivors. "The mission of TASSC is to end the practice of torture wherever it occurs and to empower survivors, their families and communities wherever they are." For more info about their activities and actions, go to http://tassc.org/ .
Bill Moyers, the journalist, reports that in the United States, "10% of the people own 60% of the wealth and 70% of the people have no net worth."
The World Institute for Development Economics Research, reports "The richest 1% of adults owned 40% of the world's total assets in the year 2000. The richest 10% of adults accounted for 85% of total assets. The bottom half of the world adult population owned 1% of global wealth."
Prayers of Intercession
Response: The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
For those who are hungry and cannot afford enough to eat, we pray....
For those who are sick and cannot get the care they need, we pray....
For those who are homeless and cannot find a safe place to stay tonight, we pray....
For those who are without employment, we pray....
For those who are immigrants and refugees and need to be welcomed, we pray....
For those who live in places suffering from war and violence, we pray....
For those who in prison for whatever reason, we pray....
The following prayer for the poor can be found at http://tomdavis.typepad.com/tom_daviss_blog/2006/11/prayer_for_the_.html
Almighty and most merciful God, we remember before you all poor and neglected persons whom it would be easy for us to forget: the homeless and the destitute, the old and the sick, and all who have none to care for them. Help us to heal those who are broken in body or spirit, and to turn their sorrow into joy. Grant this, Father, for the love of your Son, who for our sake became poor, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.