Engaging Faith | Fri, Jul 9, 2010
Sixteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time [c]
July 18, 2010
July 18: Birthday of Nelson Mandela
July 22: Feast of Mary of Magdala– Apostle to the Apostles
It is not wrong to want to live better; what is wrong is a style of life which is presumed to be better when it is directed towards "having" rather than "being", and which wants to have more, not in order to be more but in order to spend life in enjoyment as an end in itself. It is therefore necessary to create life-styles in which the quest for truth, beauty, goodness and communion with others for the sake of common growth are the factors which determine consumer choices, savings and investments.
John Paul II, Centesimus Annus, 36
It is useless to admit that a person has a right to the necessities of life, unless we also do all in our power to supply him/her with means sufficient for his/her livelihood.
John XXIII, Pacem in Terris 32
It is vain to rise up early and go to bed late, eating the bread of anxious toil. The Lord gives to the beloved in sleep.
The rush and pressure of modern life are a form of its innate violence. To allow myself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns. To surrender to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything...is to succumb to violence. The frenzy of the activist...destroys the fruitfulness of one's own work because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.
It is important that whatever we propose, with the help of God, should be profoundly rooted in contemplation and prayer. Ours is a time of continual movement which often leads to restlessness, with the risk of "doing for the sake of doing". We must resist this temptation by trying "to be" before trying "to do". In this regard we should recall how Jesus reproved Martha: "You are anxious and troubled about many things; one thing is needful" (Lk 10:41-42). In this spirit, before setting out a number of practical guidelines for your consideration, I wish to share with you some points of meditation on the mystery of Christ, the absolute foundation of all our pastoral activity.
John Paul II, Novo Millennio Ineunte, 15
Thoughts for your consideration
The gospel today speaks to those in our society who have fallen into the trap of overwork or to those who consider the only value to be the maximum production of some product or service. The gospel seems to be addressed to those who have placed work before relationship – to those who have placed things before people.
The stress we encounter in our culture and the demands that we encounter in our lives have limited our ability to be hospitable – to take time for people – to put into practice the ideals that are modeled by the hospitality of Sarah and Abraham.
The stress and busyness of our lives can prevent us from living in a contemplative way – a contemplative way toward God and a respectful, contemplative way toward our neighbor and our world.
Our contemporary world places lots of demands on our goodness. War and terrorism continue. One-fifth of the children in our country are living in poverty. One sixth of our people are out of work. Banks and corporations seem to be doing much better than the “small people.” The politics of our world has created millions of refugees. So many people are barely “making it.” So many people need the basics of good food, adequate shelter, and decent clothing. So many people are not treated with dignity. Intolerance and discrimination continue. The environment is under stress. Scientists continue to remind us that our way of life is causing global warming and other long term damage to the planet. The pressure to find more oil and to make more money has resulted in a catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
People are afraid.
As we address any of these needs, the scriptures today remind us that people in need – all people - should to be treated as people – as unique and precious human beings - as entitled to share in the bounty of the world.
The scriptures remind us that we are invited to be more contemplative. As we become more contemplative, we may learn to deal with people with greater dignity and we may even learn to deal with the planet in a more loving and healthy way.
We hope that our service of one another will not be based on guilt. Rather, it will be most powerful if it is based on our relationship with God and with others. The Colossians reading proclaims that the mystery we now realize is that “Christ is in you.” Christ is in me and you and all our brothers and sisters. Our service must respect this mystery and our service must rejoice in the mystery of Christ in each and every person.
Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group
Share a story of when you most powerfully experienced hospitality.
What is it that made you feel most welcomed?
When have you had a chance to contemplate the mystery and wonder and beauty of nature?
How did this help you renew your relationships and relationship with the world?
Actions - Links
Celebrating the Feast of Mary Magdalen (July 22)
An organization called Future Church has been promoting a renewed celebration of Mary Magdalen as a model to help us recognize the gifts of women in the church and the world. Every July they encourage various celebrations on her feast day which takes place on the 22nd of July. For info go to: http://www.futurechurch.org/marym/index.htm
Celebrating and Caring for Creation
“The Environmental Justice Program (EJP) calls Catholics to a deeper respect for God’s creation and engages parishes in activities that deal with environmental problems, particularly as they affect the poor.” http://www.usccb.org/sdwp/ejp/
The June unemployment rate for the United States was 9.5 %
The June underemployment rate is 16.5 %.
(The underemployment rate attempts to track the jobless, people who work part-time but prefer to work full-time, and those who have given up looking for work.)
You can see the United States unemployment rate over the last twenty years on a graph at:
http://www.google.com/publicdata?ds=usunemployment&met=unemployment_rate&tdim=true&dl=en&hl=en&q=unemployment#met=unemployment_rate&tdim=true You can see the rate for each state and for the country as a whole.
Prayers of Intercession
Response: Spirit of God, fill our lives with your goodness.
For the grace to be hospitable to all, especially those in need, we pray….
For the spirit what will honor the dignity and good in all people, we pray….
For the strength to be people of active nonviolence in the midst of a violent world, we pray….
For the wisdom to welcome refugees and immigrants, we pray….
For the passion to care for children in need, we pray….
For the energy to care for and learn from the elderly, we pray….
For the ability to live simply and to respect our home the earth, we pray….
Prayer of Cardinal Newman
May God support us all the day long
till the shadows lengthen
and the evening comes
and the busy world is hushed
and the fever of life is over
and our work is done -
then in mercy -
may God give us a safe lodging
and a holy rest
and peace at the last.
A Time to vacate!
A Time to let the Spirit take over!
A Time to live and be alive!
A Time to connect with people!
A Time to be still!
A Time to be yourself!
A Time to learn how to live!
A Time to read and sleep and pray and be and walk and “retreat!”
A Time to advance!
A Time for peace!
A Time for justice!
A Time not to be lazy - not to be decadent - not to be a consumer!
A Time to learn about others and self!
A Time to be in touch with what is really important!
A Time to be!
A Time to learn to be!
God, help me to keep it simple.
God, help me to vacation!