Engaging Faith | Thu, Jan 7, 2010
Second Sunday of Ordinary Time [c]
January 17, 2010
1 Corinthians 12:4-11
January is Poverty in America Awareness Month www.povertyusa.com
January 10-16: National Vocation Awareness Week http://www.usccb.org/vocations/
January 18 – 25: Annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity http://www.geii.org/wpcu_index.htm
January 18: Martin Luther King Day observed
Every form of discrimination against individuals and groups-whether because of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, economic status, or national or cultural origin- is a serious injustice which has severely weakened our social fabric. Racism is a sin; a sin that divides the human family, blots out the image of God among specific members of that family, and violates the fundamental human dignity of those called to be children of the same Father. Racism is the sin that says some human beings are inherently superior and others essentially inferior because of races.
US Catholic Bishops, Brothers and Sisters to Us
Unfortunately, we still encounter in the world a closed-minded attitude and even one of rejection, due to unjustified fears and concern for one's own interests alone. These forms of discrimination are incompatible with belonging to Christ and to the Church. … The Church has a precise message: to work so that this world of ours, which is often described as a "global village", may truly be more united, more fraternal, more welcoming. … Always put human beings and the respect for human rights at the center….
John Paul II, 2 June 2000
I would therefore like to repeat that no one is a foreigner in the Church and everyone must feel at home! To make the Church "the home and the school of communion" is a concrete response to the expectations for justice in today's world.
John Paul II, General Audience of 21 March, 2001
"The fundamental sin is exploitation, whether it be expressed in the domination of male over female, white over black, rich over poor, strong over weak, armed military over unarmed civilians, human beings over nature. These analogously abusive patterns interlock because they rest on the same base: a structure where an elite insists on its superiority and claims the right to exercise dominative power over all others considered subordinate, for its own benefit."
Elizabeth Johnson CS, She Who Is, 27
Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve.
~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Thoughts for your consideration
Isaiah says he will not be quiet until God’s glory is revealed – until those who are forsaken or desolate are welcomed back and become again "my delight" and "espoused." Paul says the glory of God can be found in the diversity of human gifts. Jesus reveals the glory of God at the wedding feast – when there is enough good wine for all to enjoy a great feast. A person like Dr. King, whose holiday is tomorrow, would not be quiet until the diversity of gifts in all human beings was respected and cherished. Tomorrow we begin the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and pray that all our religious faiths will help us to honor everyone’s gifts as a united community.
In short, the word of God proclaims a vision of the great feast where "all are welcomed" – where the human rights of all men and women are respected, where all people have enough to eat and drink, where all can enjoy the richness of God’s creation, where all can find meaningful, rewarding work, where all enjoy civil and political rights, where refugees and immigrants are received with respect, where children are treated with dignity and care, where peace and reconciliation between nations is pursued by all sides, where terrorism and torture come to an end, where the whole human creation is protected and cared for, where all races are part of the feast, where the gifts of all men and women are appreciated, where "all are welcomed."
Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group
Who are the people who are left out of your community? Why?
For a longer sharing here are a set of faith sharing or experience sharing questions:
When were you first aware of different races - of people different than yourself racially?
When was the first time you remember perceiving the racial attitudes of your elders (parents, teachers, others)?
When was the first time you remember getting to know or having a friend/acquaintance of a different race?
When have you experienced discrimination against yourself because of your race?
When have you witnessed someone else experiencing racial discrimination?
When have you gotten upset about a racial issue?
What have you learned from direct contact with people of different races?
What racial stereotypes do you find present in the minds of people in your immediate world of neighborhood or school or work or family?
Actions - Links
The King Holiday, January 18, 2018
Many cities and places in the US have ecumenical and interfaith services to remember Dr. King and his vision of and work for justice and peace in our nation and world. Participation in such events can help us renew our vision and commitment to social justice and us help with network with others who are seeking the same things.
Info about Dr. King and efforts to keep his vision alive can be found at the web site of the King Center in Atlanta: http://www.thekingcenter.org .
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research Institute at Stanford University "provides an institutional home for a broad range of activities illuminating the Nobel Peace laureate’s life and the movements he inspired." Their site is at: http://mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu . At the site you will find curriculum resources for teaching about Dr. King and even recordings of some of his speeches.
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
Christians around the world celebrate the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity together from January 18 to 25, with the encouragement of the World Council of Churches' Faith and Order Commission and the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. We must work as one for peace and justice. For more info go to: http://www.geii.org/wpcu_index.htm. During the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, we sometimes add a prayer for unity to our Eucharist; sometimes we join in a common ecumenical service with other denominations. We might also consider how we can act together for justice and peace, acting out of the common faith that we share with all the other Christian Churches. Our common commitment to peace and justice can be a source of unity between the churches.
National Prayer Vigil for Life 2010
Info can be found at the web site of the Bishop’s Conference at http://www.usccb.org/prolife/
The National Religious Campaign Against Torture
NRCAT is the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. http://www.nrcat.org/index.php They are presently organizing people to urge Congress and the Obama Administration to move quickly in closing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. Monday, January 11, was the 8th anniversary of opening of Guantanamo and Friday, January 22, will be the first anniversary of executive order calling for Guantanamo’s closure. Find out about their efforts at:
Poverty Awareness Month
The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) has designated January as Poverty Awareness Month. See www.povertyusa.org for details.
The Montgomery Bus Boycott officially started on December 1, 1955 and lasted 381 days. http://www.watson.org/~lisa/blackhistory/civilrights-55-65/montbus.html
Prayers of Intercession
Response: Loving God, hear our prayers for justice and peace.
For a society without racism or any other form of discrimination, we pray….
For a world that learns to welcome and find a place for refugees and immigrants, we pray….
For governments that promote the civil and political human rights of all, we pray….
For a planet no longer divided by and suffering from war and terrorism, we pray….
For an end to the use of torture by all governments and other groups, we pray….
For a world where all people have enough to eat and drink, where all can enjoy the richness of God’s creation, we pray….
For a profound respect for our planet and its natural resources, we pray….
For a spirit of unity, mutual learning, and respect among all the faith communities of our world, we pray…
For Unity of Faiths
O God, we are one with you. You have made us one with you. You have taught us that if we are open to one another, you dwell in us. Help us to preserve this openness and to fight for it with all our hearts. Help us to realize that there can be no understanding where there is mutual rejection. O God, in accepting one another wholeheartedly, fully, completely, we accept you, and we thank you, and we adore you, and we love you with our whole being, because our being is your being, our spirit is rooted in your spirit. Fill us then with love, and let us be bound together with love as we go our diverse ways, united in this one spirit which makes you present in the world, and which makes you witness to the ultimate reality that is love. Love has overcome. Love is victorious.
Thomas Merton 1915-1968