Engaging Faith | Mon, Oct 5, 2009
Twenty-eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time [b]
October 11, 2009
Mark 10:17-30 or 10:17-27
October 12: Columbus Day in the United States
October 12: Thanksgiving in Canada
October 15: World Rural Women's Day http://www.rural-womens-day.org/origin.html
October 16: World Food Day http://www.worldfooddayusa.org/
October 17: International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
October 18: World Mission Sunday
Our examination of conscience now comes to the life style of all: bishops, priests, religious and lay people. In the case of needy peoples it must be asked whether belonging to the Church places people on a rich island within an ambient of poverty. In societies enjoying a higher level of consumer spending, it must be asked whether our life style exemplifies that sparingness with regard to consumption which we preach to others as necessary in order that so many millions of hungry people throughout the world may be fed.
1971 Synod of Bishops, Justice in the World, 48
It is not wrong to want to live better; what is wrong is a style of life which is presumed to be better when it is directed towards "having" rather than "being", and which wants to have more, not in order to be more but in order to spend life in enjoyment as an end in itself. It is therefore necessary to create life-styles in which the quest for truth, beauty, goodness and communion with others for the sake of common growth are the factors which determine consumer choices, savings and investments.
John Paul II, Centesius Annus, 36
Do not let a desire for wealth cause you to become so consumed by your work that you prevent happiness for yourself and your family.
Thich Nhat Hanh
The rush and pressure of modern life are a form of its innate violence. To allow myself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns. To surrender to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything...is to succumb to violence. The frenzy of the activist...destroys the fruitfulness of one's own work because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.
To manage the global economy; to revive economies hit by the crisis; to avoid any deterioration of the present crisis and the greater imbalances that would result; to bring about integral and timely disarmament, food security and peace; to guarantee the protection of the environment and to regulate migration: for all this, there is urgent need of a true world political authority, as my predecessor Blessed John XXIII indicated some years ago.
Pope Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, 67
Thoughts for your consideration
The first reading from the book of Wisdom reminds us that the purpose of our life is not the accumulation of wealth. There are values that are more important than money, riches, and power. We are invited instead to base our life on that wisdom that is God and on that Spirit that invites us to something more. We are called not to accumulate things for ourselves, but to live in community and respect the common good. We are invited to consider how the prevalence of consumerism and materialism in our culture gets in the way of the Christian life and even basic happiness. Our social teaching even invites us to make a special option for the poor.
The story of the "rich young man" reminds us of how difficult it can be to "sell what we have and give to the poor." He had "many possessions." Even if we are not excessively affluent by the stands of our nation, by the standards of the world most of us are considered very affluent. We consume a disproportionate share of the earth's resources. Like the rich young man, our nation as a whole certainly has "many possessions" and seems to find it difficult to "sell them and give to the poor." Accumulation of wealth and economic domination of other nations and groups seems to be a powerful temptation to our nation and our way of behaving. The scriptures are certainly giving us a lot to think about as individuals and as a world community.
Many people are struggling today because of the recession; however, the effects of the recession on individuals have been very uneven. Many people are still employed; however, many others have become unemployed. Others were struggling economically before the recession and their struggle has only gotten worse. The scriptures today may be an invitation to reflect on our current economic situation. Have we gotten into these problems because we have failed to apply the scriptures to our world? Are we being called to reevaluate how we live and what we consider most important?
Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group
What has your experience of the economic recession?
How do the scriptures speak to you?
What possessions do you find hardest to give away?
What possessions or worries about possessions get in the way of your happiness?
Actions - Links
Jesuits and Social Justice
You can find various resources and useful links at:
October 16 is World Food Day
Look for various resources at"
On their website, http://www.bread.org/learn/hunger-basics, Bread for the World reports:
"An estimated 1.02 billion people in the world go hungry. Each year, 3 million under-five children die because they are undernourished. Far more children live with undernutrition than die from it. For infants and young children, the effects of chronic malnutrition in the early years of life are largely irreversible. In the United States, 11.7 million children live in households where people have to skip meals or eat less to make ends meet. That means one in ten households in the U.S. are living with hunger or are at risk of hunger."
Prayers of Intercession
Response: God, help us to work and to live for the common good of all.
For those who are living the experience of poverty, especially the billions who live on less than two dollars a day, we pray....
For all those who suffer from a lack of food or proper medical care, we pray...
For those who enjoy an abundance of money and possessions, we pray...
For those who are unemployed or underemployed or underpaid, we pray....
For those who overwork, we pray.....
For our nation, that as a community we direct our abundant resources to the common good, we pray...
For the nations of the world, that all will learn to direct their resources away from the weapons of war and toward the good of all their people, we pray...
For a spirit of openness to the needs and concerns of all, we pray...
Prayer - Meditation
The following prayer came from the website of the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development http://www.cafod.org.uk/
A New Beginning
We gaze in wonder
At the splendor of your creation
We see a banquet spread before us
Rich carpeted fields of yellowing grain
And overflowing baskets of ripe fruit
We see a banquet prepared for all peoples
Of fine wines and rich food
A generous feast for all to share
Help us to learn from your generosity
How to share our bread with the hungry
And open our hearts to the poor
To commit ourselves to preparing
A banquet for all peoples
A generous feast for all to share.