Engaging Faith | Fri, May 14, 2010
May 23, 2010
Corinthians 12:3-7, 12-13
John 20:19-23 or John 14:15-16, 23b-26
May 23: Pentecost
May 24: Victoria Day in Canada
May 25: Africa Day
May 27: Vesak or Visakah Puja ("Buddha Day") Vesak is the major Buddhist festival of the year as it celebrates the birth, enlightenment and death of the Buddha.
May 31: Memorial Day in the United States
May 31: World No-Tobacco Day
The Church herself will never cease putting questions, trusting in the help of the Paraclete, the Spirit of truth.
John Paul II
Let us, then, pray with all fervor for this peace which our divine Redeemer came to bring us.May Christ banish from the souls of all whatever might endanger peace. May Christ transform all people into witnesses of truth, justice and love. May Christ illumine with light the minds of rulers, so that, besides caring for the proper material welfare of their peoples, they may also guarantee them the fairest gift of peace.
Finally, may Christ inflame the desires of all people to break through the barriers which divide them, to strengthen the bonds of mutual love, to learn to understand one another, and to pardon those who have done them wrong. Through Christ’s power and inspiration may all peoples welcome each other to their hearts as brothers and sisters, and may the peace they long for ever flower and ever reign among them.
John XXIII, Pacem in Terris 171
Finding one’s own voice, however, haltingly, imparts the power of the Spirit crying out. The boldness to hear the claim of conscience and follow its deep impulses even in the face of loss; the courage to taste righteous anger and allow it to motivate critical resistance to evil; the willingness to utter the prophetic word – these occurrences inscribe the movement of the Spirit’s compassion into the ambiguity of the world. Elizabeth Johnson CSJ, She Who Is, 126 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, defend the rights of those who have nothing. Speak up and judge fairly, and defend the rights of the poor and needy.
Proverbs 31:8-9 On this feast of the Spirit and the Church, let us thank God for having given to his people, chosen and formed in the midst of all peoples, the precious good of peace, of his peace! Benedict XVI, Pentecost 2008
Thoughts for your consideration
Today, as we celebrate the power of the Spirit in the church, the scriptures remind us that the Spirit is a social Spirit – a Spirit that leads us to solidarity with each other, the whole world, and all its people. The Spirit does more than make individuals feel good or different. The Spirit breaks down barriers between peoples. The Spirit changes behavior and moves us into community. The coming of the Spirit transforms the Christian community.Locked doors are opened. Fear is replaced by courage. Peace is proclaimed. The power to forgive sins is present. Those who were afraid now speak up boldly.Thousands hear the message in their own language. The coming of the Spirit is reflected in our social values. In a world of racism and xenophobia and fear of immigrants, the Spirit speaks to people of every nation under heaven. In a world of fear and doubt and confusion, the Spirit inspires people to open the doors and speak out especially about issues of justice and peace. In a world of selfishness, competition, and control, the Spirit gives out gifts that are shared for the benefit of allespecially those who are poor or in need. In a world with war, violence and terrorism, the Spirit proclaims a message of peace and reconciliation to all. In a world of economic problems, the Spirit reminds us that the things of the world are mean to be shared by all and are to be used for the common good. In a world where the environment is abused and over used, the Spirit calls to reform how we live and to use the earth with care and love. The gifts of the Spirit are for liberation. The Spirit is an inclusive spirit who desires to set everyone free. Maybe the greatest manifestation of the spirit is when people have the grace to identify with the needs and struggles of the world, to listen to those who are poor or oppressed, and to speak up for justice. As Elizabeth Johnson says above: “Finding one’s own voice, however, haltingly, imparts the power of Spirit crying out.”
Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group
When have you had the ability or the courage to speak up in a difficult situation? What happened? What were the results? What did you learn?
The Spirit speaks to people of every nation under heaven. How is the Spirit call us to be more inclusive and welcoming?
Actions – Links
The U.S. Catholic Bishops support some sort of comprehensive immigration reform. Various bills are pending in congress. Two sites that can be helpful are:Justice for Immigrants: http://www.justiceforimmigrants.org/ Christians for Comprehensive Immigration Reform: http://www.faithandimmigration.org
“During their working life, undocumented immigrants in the United States will pay, on average, approximately $80,000 more in taxes per capita than they use in government services, owing to the fact that they are not eligible to take advantage of almost all of the social service programs offered by the federal government, according to a study released by the National Council of La Raza. …. According to statistics from the National Council of La Raza, these employees contribute approximately $7 billion to Social Security and $1.5 billion to Medicare every year, despite the fact that they are ineligible to receive these benefits. “http://www.truthout.org/undocumented-immigrants-pay-more-taxes-than-they-receive-benefits59264
Prayers of Intercession
Response: Come, Holy Spirit. For the gift to speak up on issues of justice and peace, we pray….For the wisdom to discern the end to the war and violence, we pray….For the help we need to address the needs of refugees and immigrants, we pray….For the perseverance we need to keep working for health care for all in our own land, we pray….For the courage to live simply and in ways that respect our environment, we pray….For transparency and integrity in all our governments and in all our public officials, we pray...For the strength to always work together for the common good of all, we pray….
Come Holy Spirit. Come! Fill the hearts of your people. Come Holy Spirit that we may be aware:- aware of the people around us, especially the poor and oppressed- aware of the children, the young people, all the people striving to grow into their dignity as children of God- aware of visitors, immigrants, and refugees- aware of the world around us, especially the environment with its plants and animals, with its land and water, with its air and space, with all its mystery- aware of the structures of power, especially those that keep people poor or powerless or confused or unfree- aware of the violence and the threats of violence, which are not the way of Jesus- aware of ourselves and our bias and stereotypes and all our unfreedom- aware of all the possibilities for freedom and joy and life.Come Holy Spirit. Come! Fill the hearts of your people.
THE GRACE TO SHOUT William Cleary, Psalm Services For Group Prayer
Today we ask the grace to shout when it hurts, even though silence is expected of us,and to listen when others shout though it be painful to hear;to object, to protest, when we feel, taste, or observe injustice,believing that even the unjust and arrogantare human nonetheless and therefore worthy of strong efforts to reach them. Take from us, Guiding God, the heart of despair and fill us with courage and understanding. Give us a self that knows very well when the moment has come to protest. We ask the grace to be angry when the weakest are the first to be exploitedand the trapped are squeezed for their meager resources,when the most deserving are the last to thrive, and the privileged demand more privilege. We ask for the inspiration to make our voice heard when we have something that needs to be said,something that rises to our lips despite our shyness. And we ask the grace to listen when the meek finally rise to speak and their words are an agony for us..... Give us the freedom to see. Give us the wisdom and courage to speak.