COC

Twenty-Second Sunday of Ordinary Time

Engaging Faith | Fri, Aug 28, 2009

By John Bucki, SJ
Source: Center of Concern

 

Twenty-second Sunday of Ordinary Time [b]

August 30, 2009

Readings

Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-8

James 1:17-18, 21b-22, 27

Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

Calendar

August 26: Women's Equality Day (commemorates the 1920 passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, granting women the right to vote)

August 29: anniversary of Hurricane Katrina making landfall in Louisiana and Mississippi in 2005

September 7: Labor Day in the United States

Quotes

The world's wealth is growing in absolute terms, but inequalities are on the increase.

Pope Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, 22

… it should be stressed that progress of a merely economic and technological kind is insufficient. Development needs above all to be true and integral.

Pope Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, 23

The acquisition of worldly goods can lead people to greed, to the unrelenting desire for more, to the pursuit of greater personal power. Rich and poor alike — be they individuals, families or nations — can fall prey to avarice and soul stifling materialism. … Neither individuals nor nations should regard the possession of more and more goods as the ultimate objective. … The exclusive pursuit of material possessions prevents people’s growth as human beings and stands in opposition to true grandeur. Avarice, in individuals and in nations, is the most obvious form of stultified moral development.

Paul VI, Populorum Progressio

Individual initiative alone and the interplay of competition will not ensure satisfactory development. We cannot proceed to increase the wealth and power of the rich while we entrench the needy in their poverty and add to the woes of the oppressed.

Paul VI, Populorum Progressio

If prosperous nations continue to be jealous of their own advantage alone, they will jeopardize their highest values, sacrificing the pursuit of excellence to the acquisition of possessions.

Paul VI, Populorum Progressio

We cherish this hope: that distrust and selfishness among nations will eventually be overcome by a stronger desire for mutual collaboration and a heightened sense of solidarity.

Paul VI, Populorum Progressio

Thoughts for your consideration

The scriptures today invite us to look within ourselves and within our society and consider whether we have our values in order – whether are priorities are right.

Ø Moses exhorts the people to be sure that they are following the wisdom of the God who liberated them and led them from slavery to freedom.

Ø James reminds everyone: "Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves. … Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained by the world."

Ø Jesus responds to the Pharisees by pointing out their preoccupation with laws and traditions rather than be what is really important. What is important to look at is what leads to "evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, and folly."

The social teaching of the church challenges us as did Moses, James and Jesus, so that we do not lose sight of what is really important. God is concerned with justice and peace. God is concerned with the poor and most vulnerable of our world. God is concerned with peace in the world. God is concerned with a religious faith or spirituality which liberates the world. God wants us to work for what is right – things like quality affordable healthcare for all, equality for all people – men and women, and living wages for all workers.

Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group

In our public life what things seem to be leading us to "evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, and folly?"

+++++

What do you feel are some important examples of how the values of our culture or nation are ‘out of order’ or not consistent with our religious belief?

"Crazy Facts"

The non-profit organization Farmworker Justice writes online: "Something's sick about the US when economy and law exist to allow farmworkers to earn $10k/yr and a Citigroup trader $98 million/yr."

University of California, Berkeley Professor Emmanuel Saez’s research indicates that income inequality has been increasing in the United States and that in 2007 the top .01 percent of American earners took home 6 percent of total U.S. income. The top 10% of American earners received 49.7 percent of total income. You can read a complete report at:

http://elsa.berkeley.edu/~saez/saez-UStopincomes-2007.pdf

ABC News reported on August 14: "For every lawmaker in Congress, there are about six lobbyists pushing their health care priorities, according to a Bloomberg News investigation released today. That's about 3,300 registered health care lobbyists working Capitol Hill, hoping to put a bug in the ear of 100 senators and 435 congressmen."

Actions - Links

Women's Equality Day (commemorating the 1920 passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, granting women the right to vote) was August 26. Find out more at

http://www.nwhp.org/resourcecenter/equalityday.php

Network, the National Catholic Social Justice Lobby writes that we "now have a not-to-be-missed opportunity to make giant steps toward shaping the U.S. healthcare system to serve the common good." Consider contacting Congress at

http://capwiz.com/networklobby/issues/alert/?alertid=13829611&type=CO

Prayers of Intersession

Response: God, help us to be doers of the word.

God, in a world of so many divisions, we pray for an end to all racism, prejudice, and discrimination. We pray….

God, in a world of so much war and terrorism, we pray for peace between all nations and people. We pray for a spirit of dialogue and understanding. We pray….

God, in a world where many do not have access to a good education, we pray all our children will have all that they need to learn and reach their full potential as children of God. We pray…..

God, in a world with so much income inequality, we pray for just and living wages for all workers. We pray….

God, in a nation where so many people do not have dependable access to health care, we pray that universal, affordable healthcare will be available for everyone. We pray….

God, in a world where so many people do not enjoy their basic human rights, we pray that women and men will be so free to enjoy their dignity as children of God. We pray….

God, we pray that with your help we may all be doers of the word. We pray….

Prayer - Meditation

Countless millions are starving, countless families are destitute, countless men are steeped in ignorance; countless people need schools, hospitals, and homes worthy of the name. In such circumstances, we cannot tolerate public and private expenditures of a wasteful nature; we cannot but condemn lavish displays of wealth by nations or individuals; we cannot approve a debilitating arms race.

Paul VI, Populorum Progressio

Countless millions are starving.

O God, teach us what to do and lead us into action.

 

Countless families are destitute.

O God, give us the grace of solidarity and help us to create a new world.

 

Countless people are steeped in ignorance.

O God, teach us to share our wisdom with each other.

 

Countless people need schools, hospitals, and homes worthy of the name.

O God, help us create a world where people have what they need.

 

Countless "dollars" are wasted by nations and individuals.

O God, teach us to share what we have with one another.

 

Countless nations amass countless guns, bullets, planes and ships.

O God, teach us to be people of peace and justice for all.