Engaging Faith | Fri, Jun 19, 2009
Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time
June 21, 2009
Job 38:1, 8-11
2 Corinthians 5:14-17
June 20: World Refugee Day
June 21: Summer Solstice
June 21: Father's Day in the United States
June 26: International Day in Support of Victims of Torture
Prayer is hope in action. And in fact true reason is contained in prayer: we come into loving contact with the one God, the universal Creator, and in so doing we come to realize the futility of human divisions and prejudices and we sense the wondrous possibilities that open up before us when our hearts are converted to God's truth, to his design for each of us and our world.
~ Pope Benedict XVI, Amman, Jordon, 8 May 2009
Violence and injustice in the form of massive poverty, sexism, racism, and war destroy the lives of millions of human beings who die before their time. The radical transformation of crushing structures and murderous situations does not happen automatically but only through human effort that through active nonviolent resistance struggles for justice and against suffering. ... In addition to cosmic and social renewal, Spirit-Sophia's deeds take place when the life of every person is renewed. Jaded, discouraged, hurt, exhausted, worried, people have need for comfort, healing and new enthusiasm for life that arises every day. Nonviolently, but persistently the Spirit who dwells at the center of personal existence creates a clean heart, a new spirit, a heart of flesh and compassion instead of a stony heart (Ez 36:26).
Elizabeth Johnson CSJ, She Who Is
We renew our call for a new kind of politics--focused on moral principles not on the latest polls, on the needs of the poor and vulnerable not the contributions of the rich and powerful, and on the pursuit of the common good not the demands of special interests.
Faithful Citizenship: A Catholic Call to Political Responsibility
How will our society combat continuing prejudice, overcome hostility toward immigrants and refugees, and heal the wounds of racism, religious bigotry, and other forms of discrimination?
How will our nation pursue the values of justice and peace in a world where injustice is common, desperate poverty widespread, and peace is too often overwhelmed by violence?
Faithful Citizenship: A Catholic Call to Political Responsibility
Thoughts for your consideration
Life in our contemporary world can feel like being with the disciples in the midst of the storm on the lake. It can feel overwhelming. Parker Palmer in his book, A Hidden Wholeness, talks about living through a storm or blizzard. "It swirls around us as economic injustice, ecological ruin, physical and spiritual violence, and their inevitable outcome, war. It swirls within us as fear and frenzy, greed and deceit, and indifference to the suffering of others."
We can feel discouraged by all sorts of things - by politics - by the economic recession - by our financial system - by our wars that seems to go on and on - by all sorts of violence - by tax policies - by people who lie to us - by politicians who are not honest - by a church that is all too human - by our inability to change things or even to figure out what changes to make.
The scriptures today call us not to be afraid of the storm.
The scriptures call us to remember that ultimately God is in charge.
No election, no change in government, no single change in law, and no one thing can make things perfect or can completely fix our problems. At the same time, we can make a difference in our world and in the lives of people. We must not give up or despair. God is ultimately in charge and God's spirit empowers us. God blesses us with the courage to "get into the boat and go to the other side." We can face problems, ask questions, get involved, engage in the issues of our time, and speak up for what is right.
Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group
When have you felt overwhelmed by the events of the world?
When have you felt overwhelmed by injustice in the world?
"Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?"
Actions - Links
WORLD REFUGEE DAY
World Refugee Day was June 20.
The Jesuit Refugee Service / USA has lots of resources on their web pages at http://www.jrsusa.org/
Torture Awareness Month
June is Torture Awareness Month. The National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) is a membership organization committed to ending U.S.-sponsored torture, and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. Find out more and sign their statement of conscience at http://www.nrcat.org/. 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/ . You can also find information at http://www.tortureawareness.com/ .
The National Priorities Project
"National Priorities Project analyzes and clarifies federal data so that people can understand and influence how their tax dollars are spent." Go to: http://www.nationalpriorities.org/ . They include a calculator to keep track of the cost of war and how else the money could have been spent in your local town or city.
The Children's Defense Fund writes "Today, 13.3 million children in America, or 1 in 6, are poor, the majority living in working families. The burden of poverty falls disproportionately on minority children, with 1 in 3 Black children and more than 1 in 4 Latino children affected compared to 1 in 10 White children."
Prayers of Intercession
Response: Lord, help us all in the midst of the storms.
On this father's day, for all our fathers and in thanksgiving for all that they try to do for us, we pray....
For all fathers who are struggling with unemployment or underemployment and find it hard to care for their families, we pray....
For all fathers who are away from the children, especially those serving in places of war, we pray....
For all fathers who are in jail or prison, we pray....
For fathers who are immigrants or refugees, we pray....
For all our fathers who have died, we pray.....
Prayer - Meditation
The following peace prayer is from the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas.
Loving God, you inspire us with love for all persons
and concern for the well-being of all creation.
Give us today the strength and courage
to transform the compassion of our hearts
into acts of peace, mercy, and justice.
Forgive us for the arrogance that leads to moral blindness,
for desires for vengeance and retaliation,
and for willingness to sacrifice others for our own security and avarice.
Help us to renounce all forms of violence:
prejudice, unfair allegations, intolerance, and injury.
Give us the courage to resist threatening postures,
calls to arms, mobilization of troops and weapons, and
all actions that threaten the lives and livelihoods of innocent people.
Empower us to live out the caring presence
of the merciful and generous persons we claim to be.
Make us channels of your peace, bearers of healing,
women and men who hear and respond with alacrity
to pleas for justice in our world.
We ask all this in the name of Jesus
Who came among us to show us the way.