Engaging Faith | Fri, Jun 25, 2010
Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time [c]
July 4, 2010
Luke 10:1-12, 17-20 or 10:1-9
July 1: Canada Day
July 4: Independence Day in US
The hungry nations of the world cry out to the peoples blessed with abundance. And the Church, cut to the quick by this cry, asks each and every person to hear their brother or sister’s plea and answer it lovingly.
Paul VI, Populorum Progressio, 3
As Leo XIII so wisely taught in Rerum Novarum: "whoever has received from the divine bounty a large share of temporal blessings, whether they be external and corporeal, or gifts of the mind, has received them for the purpose of using them for the perfecting of his own nature, and, at the same time, that he may employ them, as the steward of God's Providence, for the benefit of others.’He that hath a talent,' says St. Gregory the Great, 'let him see that he hide it not; he that hath abundance, let him quicken himself to mercy and generosity; he that hath art and skill, let him do his best to share the use and the utility thereof with his neighbor.
John XXIII, Mater and Magistra (Christianity and Social Progress) 119
God asks more from those to whom God gives more. They are not greater or better, they have greater responsibility. They must give more service.
Archbishop Dom Helder Camara, The Desert is Fertile
God reveals himself to us as one who is not alone, but rather as one who is relational, one who is Trinity. Therefore, we who are made in God's image share this communal, social nature. We are called to reach out and to build relationships of love and justice.
We cannot call ourselves Catholic unless we hear and heed the Church's teaching to serve those in need, to protect human life and dignity, and to pursue justice and peace.
US Bishops, Sharing Catholic Social Teaching
Affluent nations such as our own have to acknowledge the impact of voracious consumerism….
Global Climate Change: A Plea for Dialogue, Prudence, and the Common Good
A Statement of the U.S. Catholic Bishops
Solidarity is... a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good. It is... squarely opposed to greed and the thirst for power.
Pope John Paul II, Solicitudo Rei SocialisThoughts for your consideration
Today, on Independence Day, we may want to consider the abundance of material blessings that we have been given. In the powerful maternal images of the Isaiah reading, we are reminded that there is an abundance of God’s love and gifts. As we journey through life, we are called to drop our worries and drop all the extra baggage we might want to carry. We are called to have a great confidence in the abundance of God’s gifts and our ability to share them. We don’t have to worry. We can live a simple life style. We don’t need always to accumulate more and more. We don’t need all the stuff of the excesses of our consumer culture.
“Oh, that you may suck fully of the milk of her comfort, that you may nurse with delight at her abundant breasts! … I will spread prosperity over Jerusalem like a river, and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing torrent.”
We can make a mistake by reading this scripture as a promise of material prosperity and wealth to the followers of Jesus. We can misread the scriptures as a kind of promise of wealth for those special people who believe. Such a “prosperity theology” is not part of real teachings of Jesus. Rather, we are called to let go of our striving for things and power and control. We can live simply. God calls us into community and solidarity and not the accumulation of things and material securities. Out of this perspective we can come to great peace and joy.
Those who study hunger and food security in the world remind us that there is no shortage of food in the world; rather there is a problem of distribution and justice. We are right to assume that there is an abundance of God’s gifts in the world. It is not a problem of production; rather it is a problem of distribution. We are called to move beyond selfishness to sharing what we have been given.
Jesus calls the seventy-two to go out and proclaim this liberating message. Jesus calls them not to a heavy burden or to an oppressive sacrifice, but to a life of faith and freedom, a life of joy and service. The gospel invites us to consider our vocation to help people, open their eyes to the abundance of God’s love, and to share those gifts with each other. We are called to proclaim the reign of God - a reign not based on material possessions or on financial security or on political or military power. The harvest is ready.
The people of the world have a deep desire for the liberating gospel message. We are called to work for the liberation of the whole world. We are to get excited about the vision of Jesus. From this excitement and love, will come a vision that includes all the particular individual calls which can all be a source of life and freedom and joy (not a heavy burden or a commitment to some big institution, but a source of freedom).
We are all called to follow Jesus and the seventy-two with a deep confidence in the abundance of God’s gifts. We are called to work for the joyous liberation of the world and all its people. We are called to be liberated and alive in God and with one another.
Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group
1. What is the assumption you make in your life?
There will be enough! Or There will not be enough!
2. Share some experience you have had of scarcity or fear of scarcity and how you got through it.
Where do you find yourself getting caught up in the consumer culture?
How have you been able to let go of the consumer culture of striving for more things?Actions / Links
Gulf Oil Spill and Sustainable Energy Policy
In light of the large oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Consumers Union (http://www.consumersunion.org) is among many organizations inviting citizens to advocate for “a sustainable energy policy that reduces our dependence on foreign oil and domestic off-shore oil drilling.” You can consider adding your name to their petition at https://secure.consumersunion.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAct...
Programs to grow in social ministry
JustFaith Ministries “provides programs that transform people and expand their commitment to social ministry” in the context of small faith communities. Get info at http://www.justfaith.org/index.html .
“The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Migration and Refugee Services (USCCB/MRS) has partnered with The Catholic University of America to develop an educational Website that highlights the significant role that the U.S. Catholic bishops and the institutional Church in the United States have played on immigration related issues, especially since the early twentieth century.” The Website, “U.S. Catholic Bishops and Immigration,” can be found at http://libraries.cua.edu/achrcua/packets.html .
Participants at the Catholic bishops’ Regional Consultation on Migration in Washington, June 2-4 issued a joint statement calling for protection, hospitality, service and justice to immigrants throughout the hemisphere. Read it at: http://www.usccb.org/comm/archives/2010/10-118.shtml
The 14th annual Merrill Lynch-Capgemini world wealth report 2010 recently was published and can be found at http://www.us.capgemini.com/worldwealthreport2010 “The world’s population of high net worth individuals (HNWIs) grew 17.1% to 10.0 million in 2009. HNWI financial wealth increased 18.9% from 2008 levels to $39 trillion. After losing 24.0% in 2008, Ultra-HNWIs saw wealth rebound 21.5% in 2009.” You can also read a press story on the report at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37846803/ns/business-personal_finance “In North America, the ranks of the rich rose 17 percent and their wealth grew 18 percent to $10.7 trillion. …. The United States was home to the most millionaires in 2009 — 2.87 million — followed by Japan with 1.65 million, Germany with 861,000, and China with 477,000.”
Prayers of Intercession
Response: God, help us to share your goodness and gifts.
For those who do not have enough to eat, we pray….
For those who are homeless, we pray…..
For those who are refugees and immigrants, we pray….
For those who do not the opportunity for an excellent education, we pray….
For those who experience any injustice, we pray….
For those who have a surplus, we pray….
For those who over-consume and even abuse the gifts of our planet, we pray….
For all of us called to share the vision and practice of Jesus, we pray….
O God, we pray for all those in our world who are suffering from injustice:
For those who are discriminated against because of their race, color or religion;
For those imprisoned for working for the relief of oppression;
For those who are hounded for speaking the inconvenient truth;
For those tempted to violence as a cry against overwhelming hardship;
For those deprived of reasonable health and education;
For those suffering from hunger and famine;
For those too weak to help themselves and who have no one else to help them;
For the unemployed who cry out for work but do not find it.
We pray for anyone of our acquaintance who is personally affected by injustice.
Forgive us, Lord, if we unwittingly share in the conditions
or in a system that perpetuates injustice.
Show us how we can serve your children and make your love practical by washing their feet.
Attributed to Mother Theresa
Lord Jesus, You who are the way, the truth, and the life; hear us as we pray for the truth that will make all free. Teach us that liberty is not only to be loved but also to be lived. Help us see that our liberty is not the right to do as we please, but the opportunity to do what is right.
Senate Chaplain Peter Marshall, 1947