COC

Second Sunday of Lent

Engaging Faith | Tue, Feb 23, 2010

By John Bucki, SJ
Source: Center of Concern

Second Sunday of Lent February 28, 2010 

Readings

Genesis 15:5-12, 17-18Philippians 3:17- 4:1 or 3:20 – 4:1Luke 9:28b -36 

CalendarMarch is Women’s History Month March 4: Purim / Feast of Lots [Jewish]March 8: International Women’s Day [See: http://www.un.org/ecosocdev/geninfo/women/womday97.htm]  

Quotes Only the path of dialogue can ensure a better and safer future for all.Benedict XVI, 8 January 2007 

Listening to the cry of those who suffer violence and are oppressed by unjust systems and structures, and hearing the appeal of a world that by its perversity contradicts the plan of its Creator, we have shared our awareness of the Church's vocation to be present in the heart of the world by proclaiming the Good News to the poor, freedom to the oppressed, and joy to the afflicted.

1971 Synod of Bishops, Justice in the World 

Every kind of social or cultural discrimination in basic personal rights on the grounds of sex, race, color, social conditions, language, or religion, must be curbed and eradicated as incompatible with God's design.

Vatican II Salvation comes to us through all women and men who love truth more than lies, who are more eager to give than to receive, and whose love is that supreme love that gives life rather than keeping it for oneself.
Jon Sobrino, Spirituality of Liberation 

Our speech about God “… gives rise to a different vision of community, one in which the last shall be first, the excluded shall be included, the mighty put down from their thrones and the humbled exalted – the words of Mary of Nazareth’s song of praise (Lk 1:52), creating conditions for the formation of community characterized by relationships of mutuality and reciprocity, of love and justice.”

Elizabeth Johnson CSJ, She Who Is, 28 

Dear Brothers and Sisters, let us set out with trust on our Lenten journey, sustained by fervent prayer, penance and concern for those in need. In particular, may this Lent be a time of ever greater concern for the needs of children, in our own families and in society as a whole: for they are the future of humanity.

John Paul II, Message for Lent 2004

Thoughts for your consideration 

God makes big promises to Abram, soon to be called Abraham, and Abram understandably asks, "How am I to know that I shall possess it?"  We too might ask, “How will we know that God is with us as we journey on?  As we open our eyes to the problems of the world? As we engage the world’s problems? As we take the risk to see more clearly? As we take a stand for what is right?  As we speak up for justice?” Abram sees the power of God in a ritual and a covenant. The disciples see the power of God in a profound prayer experience on the mountain. Lent is a time for us to open our eyes and see God. Lent us the time for us to grow in awareness – awareness of the presence of God in ourselves, in our prayer, in our action, in the people and the world around us, in the poor and the rich, in people who are different than ourselves and in people who are the same, in the challenges of life, in injustice and violence, in peace and justice, in our history, in all things.  Maybe the most critical criteria for evaluating our Lenten practice is whether it helps us to see well and then get into action. This sort of transformation is possible. The Transfiguration is a sign of great hope. The disciples discover that it is possible to see the presence of God in Jesus. It is possible to see things in a new way.  It is possible for us today to see God in others. It is possible to let go of racism, to let go of the trap of materialism and the addiction to money, to let go of power and control, to let go of violence and militarism, to let go of inaction, to let go of our limiting ideologies, to let go of our blindness and selfishness. [It is even possible to let go of the religious experience on the mountain and come down and find God in all things.] Abram led his family toward a new promised land. Moses led the people of Israel in the “exodus” out of Egypt. We are told that Jesus talks with Moses and Elijah about his upcoming “exodus.” The exodus experience can happen again. Jesus is about a new liberation from our blindness and slavery and about a new liberation for our world.  +++++ 

Despite improvements shown in various statistical measures (gross domestic product, stock market values, etc), we continue to live in a period of recession. Jobless numbers are very high.  In fact some people and some parts of our world have been in “recession” for as long as we can remember, even before the official recession. 

The recession of the last few years has effected people in various different ways.  Some have been effected radically and have lost jobs, homes, savings, etc.  Other people have experienced very few immediate significant changes.  They still have jobs and homes and savings.  Some people are still very prosperous and others are still very poor.  Regardless of our personal situation, we are all part of a world that is in economic pain.  Whether we have faced serious economic problems or not, we are all called to look at the economic life of our world in a new way.  We are called to see from the viewpoint of others.  We are called to see God calling out to us in the injustice. We are called to listen to God calling in the mystery and the cloud. We are called to make real today the big promises for the whole world that God presented to Abram so many centuries ago. 

In his message of Lent Benedict XVI wrote: “… the Christian is moved to contribute to creating just societies, where all receive what is necessary to live according to the dignity proper to the human person and where justice is enlivened by love.” 


Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group

How is your Lenten observance helping you to see in a new way? 

To be more aware of the presence of God in the world?

To be better able to see and understand those who are different than yourself?

To see the poor and needy of the world?

 

Actions - Links Healthcare ReformNetwork, the Catholic Social Justice Lobby, continues to urge people to contact congress about healthcare reform.  You can do so at:http://capwiz.com/networklobby/issues/alert/?alertid=14585151&type=ML  Global PovertyJoin Catholics Confront Global Poverty at

http://actioncenter.crs.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ccgp_signup

 
“Crazy facts”

Public Citizen, “the national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1971 to represent consumer interests in Congress, the executive branch and the courts,” reports: “Last year, Wall Street spent $29.8 million on lobbying to undermine financial reform -- a jump in spending of 12 percent, according to the Los Angeles Times.”

 Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports, writes: “In the past 10 years, your family’s health insurance bill has more than doubled. And if nothing is done to rein in the health insurance industry, your premiums will double again in another 10 years….  Meanwhile, the CEOs of the top health insurance companies each averaged $9.7 million in compensation in 2008.” 

 

Prayers of Intercession Response:  God, help us to see and act in a new way.

For all those who are struggling through the experience of poverty and injustice, we pray….

For all those who suffering from the loss of jobs, homes, and savings because of the recession of the last few years, we pray….

For all children who do not have enough to eat or a decent place to live, we pray….

For all refugees and immigrants who are struggling to find a home with dignity, we pray….

For all women who are struggling for their rights, we pray….

For all those who are discouraged as they seek to act for justice and liberation for all, we pray….

 

Prayer

Liberator God

Set me free to see

To see the world as it is

To see its people as they are.

Divine Mother

Help me not to be afraid

Not to be afraid of the poor

Not to be afraid of the rich. 

Joyful Friend:

Let me come alive

Alive this day in my prayer

Alive this day in my action

Alive with the works of justice and peace

Alive this day in your liberating spirit. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 
 

Prayer for Lent 

May Lent be for us

A time of learning to see

Where Christ is crucified today,

A time of learning

To recognize the complex roots of injustice,

To recognize the GethsemanesIn our global community.

May we witness the suffering

Of God's children

As Mary witnessed

Her beloved son's suffering. 

May Lent be for us

A time of learning to become

An Easter people,

A time of learning

To recognize the deep roots of compassion,

To recognize we too are called 

May Lent be for us

A time of learning to see

Where Christ is crucified today,

A time of learning

To recognize the complex roots of injustice,

To recognize the Gethsemanes

In our global community.

May we witness the suffering

Of God's children

As Mary witnessed

Her beloved son's suffering. 

May Lent be for us

A time of learning to become

An Easter people,

A time of learning

To recognize the deep roots of compassion

To recognize we too are called

To witness the empty tomb and

To announce

To a world in despair

the Hope of the Resurrection. 

by Jane Deren, Education for Justice, www.educationforjustice.org