Engaging Faith | Fri, Jun 18, 2010
Thirteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time [c]
June 27, 2010
1 Kings 19:16b, 19-21
Galatians 5:1, 13-18
June 22 – 26: US Social Forum in Detroit, Michigan
June 25 -- 26: G8 (& G20) Summit in Canada
July 1: Canada Day
July 4: Independence Day in US
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 economy in fact is only one aspect and one dimension of the whole
of human activity. If economic life is absolutized, if the production
and consumption of goods become the center of social life and society's
only value, not subject to any other value, the reason is to be found
not so much in the economic system itself as in the fact that the entire
socio-cultural system, by ignoring the ethical and religious dimension,
has been weakened, and ends by limiting itself to the production of
goods and services alone.
All of this can be summed up by repeating once more that economic
freedom is only one element of human freedom. When it becomes
autonomous, when the human person is seen more as a producer or consumer
of goods than as a subject who produces and consumes in order to live,
then economic freedom loses its necessary relationship to the human
person and ends up by alienating and oppressing.
John Paul II, Centesimus Annus, 39-40
The Christian response to the challenges of our times is to be found
in the Good News of Jesus. The words that signaled the start of His
public ministry must be the watchword for every Christian response to
injustice, "He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was
written" The spirit of the Lord is upon me; therefore, he has anointed
me. He has sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor, to proclaim
liberty to captives, recovery of sight to the blind and release to
prisoners, to captives, recovery of favor from the Lord. Rolling up the
scroll he gave it back ...and sat down...'Today this Scripture passage
is fulfilled in your hearing'."
God's word proclaimed the oneness of the human family -- from the
first words of Genesis, to the "Come, Lord Jesus" of the Book of
Revelation. God's word in Genesis announces that all men and women are
created in God's image; not just some races and racial types, but all
bear the imprint of the Creator and are enlivened by the breath of His
US Bishops, Brothers and Sisters are Us
Hope prevents us from clinging to what we have and frees us to move
away from the safe place and enter unknown and fearful territory.
Henri J. Nouwen
Thoughts for your consideration
The scriptures today address issues of liberty and freedom – the freedom
to give up everything and follow Jesus on the Way – the freedom that
allows us the ability to “serve one another through love” -- the freedom
to give oneself unconditionally and completely to something that is
most important and bigger than ourselves.
Paul reminds the Galatians that the freedom of Christ must not end up
being a new sort of slavery – a freedom to do anything regardless of how
it affects others or a freedom from one thing only to be enslaved by
something else. Christian faith is not just another ideology or set of
ideas. It is a totally liberating commitment to God and to the common
In the American context, we might ask ourselves whether the political
freedom that we are so proud of has set us free or allowed us in some
way to be enslaved by something else. As our economic freedom has played
out over time, have we become slaves to the economy, or to the forces
of the “free market,” or the power of the consumer culture? Has our
freedom of the press, resulted in a culture where we are manipulated and
controlled by big corporate powers and their limited perspective? Has
the freedom of the marketplace made us slaves to advertising or to the
desire for profit? In brief have we in any way become enslaved by
capitalism or consumerism or bigotry or racism or any other ideology?
The vision of Jesus is the vision of a group of liberated people focused
on the journey and the goal. Jesus invites people to be free enough to
focus their energy on a vision of life and love and service and
solidarity. We are challenged today to be aware of those things that get
in the way of this freedom and to walk in the values and life and joy
of Jesus Christ. If we take them seriously, the images of the first
reading and the gospel are strong and powerful. As Paul reminds us:
“Brothers and sisters: For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm and
do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.”
Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group
What have you been asked to give up in your life?
How has this made you freer for the good news of Jesus?
How has this made you freer to be yourself?
Actions – Links
Gulf Oil Spill
The New Orleans Province of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) has compiled a
resource packet for prayer, study and action in response to the growing
environmental catastrophe in the Gulf Coast region. You can access it
Adrift in the Gulf is an editorial from America Magazine that addresses
the oil spill. You can read it at
“Americans make up only 5% of the world's population and yet consume 20%
of its energy!”
Prayers of Intercession
Response: “For freedom, Christ has set us free.”
For human rights and political freedom for all people, we pray….
For responsible freedom of the press in all the nations of the world, we
For freedom from consumerism and commercialism in our economic lives, we
For freedom from war and violence and other forms of fear and
manipulation, we pray….
For freedom from racism and all other forms of discrimination, we pray….
For religious freedom for all peoples, we pray….
Prayer for Charity and a Preferential Option for the Poor
By Mary Lou Kownacki, OSB
Please take the bread. It is yours.
The house with running water belongs to you.
A plot of land, a dignified job – all yours.
Forgive me for offering it.
Charity is not a substitute for justice but your children are hungry
Spirit of Justice, break open our hearts.
Break them wide open
Let anger pour through
like strong winds cleaning us of complacency,
Let courage pour through
like spring storms flooding out fear.
Let zeal pour through
like blazing summer sun, filling us with passion.
Force of Justice, grant me anger at what is,
courage to do what must be done,
passion to break down the walls of injustice
and build a land flowing with milk and honey
for God’s beloved, God’s special love, God’s Poor Ones.
Spirit of Justice, break open our hearts.