Engaging Faith | Wed, Jul 21, 2010
Seventeenth Sunday of Ordinary Time [c]
July 25, 2010
July 31: Feast of St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus
We are closer to God when we are asking questions than when we think we have the answers.
Rabbi Abraham Heschel
Saint Ignatius of Loyola was convinced that God's Spirit works in just these subtle ways, that God's invitation is heard not only in moments of peak experience, but especially in human talents and needs, in specific opportunities and seemingly random requests. Ignatius favorite image of God was as "Director of Souls," the One who works subtly in all things but especially in the roots of human experience and community to heal the world and bring it into union with God. Ignatius also believed that God's call always leads to struggle against the powerful forces of riches, honors and pride that oppress the world in every age. Those who enter that struggle will find that Jesus Christ is the companion who struggles alongside them to free the world from sin and oppression. Intimacy with Christ is not found on the sidelines, but by those who plunge into the struggle because that is where He is.
. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J.
Are human beings the only ones who weep and groan, or can this also be predicated of the holy mystery of God who cherishes the beloved world?
Elizabeth Johnson, She Who Is, 246
No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless. There's too much work to do.
Genuine progress does not consist in wealth sought for personal comfort or for its own sake; rather it consists in an economic order designed for the welfare of the human person, where the daily bread that each person receives reflects the glow of love between sisters and brothers and the helping hand of God.
Paul VI, Populorum Progressio, 86
Our mission demands that we should courageously denounce injustice, with charity, prudence and firmness, in sincere dialogue with all parties concerned.
1971 Bishops Synod, Justice in the World, 57
Thoughts for your consideration
Figuring out how to live the Christian life in our complex world can be quite an adventure. It takes time to figure out the route. It takes time to undertake the trip. Figuring out how to work for justice and peace is a journey and an adventure. To use the images of the gospel, it involves a lot of asking, seeking, and knocking. It is something that is worked out over time in the midst of ambiguity and struggle. It is best supported by a community of faith, hope and love.
The Scriptures today remind us not to be afraid of the search for justice and peace. Dont be afraid of bargaining with God just as Abraham sought out justice for the people of his time. Dont be afraid of seeking out something of importance. Dont be afraid of making your needs known. Dont be afraid of making known the needs of the poor and the powerless. Dont be afraid of asking questions. Dont be afraid of asking why. Dont be afraid of engaging the many important concerns of the world.
Abraham spoke to God. So can you.
You can speak truth to power.
We can all speak truth to power.
Searching is part of implementing Catholic Social Teaching. No one of us knows all the answers. No one of us can fix the whole world and its problems. However, all of us can and do have a courage and faith that comes from our relationship with our God. Great things are possible. As John Paul II wrote a few years ago: Rediscover today with joy and wonder that the world is no longer a slave to the inevitable. This world of ours can change.
Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group
From the viewpoint of peace and justice, what are the biggest areas of frustration for you?
What are the injustices that most strongly call out for change?
What has been your experience of speaking up about injustice?
Have you had success? Have you had failure or frustration?
The Jesuit Conference Secretariat for Social and International Ministries (SIM) supports members of the Society of Jesus and the Ignatian family in their social justice concerns, empowering them to act upon those concerns by coordination and education. The secretariat advocates on behalf of the voiceless on matters of social concern before government and corporate institutions. It also represents the U.S. Assistancy internationally. SIM seeks to fulfill its mission for the Jesuit Provincials of the United States in collaboration with the 28 Jesuit Colleges and Universities, more than 60 high schools and middle schools, 80 parishes and 28 retreat houses, in addition to individual social ministry efforts. You can check it out at http://www.jesuit.org/index.php/main/jesuits-worldwide/social-justice
Almost half the world over three billion people live on less than $2.50 a day.
At least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day.
More than 80 percent of the worlds population lives in countries where income differentials are widening.
Find more facts at http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats
Prayers of Intercession
Response: God, help us to create a world of justice and peace.
For those caught up in the war and terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan, we pray.
For those caught up in the genocide and violence in parts of Africa, especially the Congo and the Sudan, we pray.
For those caught up in so many other wars all over the world, we pray.
For all those who are denied their basic human rights by political authorities, we pray.
For those who have become refugees fleeing terror and violence in their homeland, we pray.
For those who dont have enough to eat, we pray.
For those who are homeless, we pray.
God, sometimes I dont know what to seek.
God, sometimes I find myself trying to seek everything.
God, I want justice for the poor.
God, I want food for the hungry.
God, I want hospitality for refugees.
God, I want equality for all women.
God, I want good education for all our children.
God, I want an end to the war in Iraq.
God, I want an end to the war in Afghanistan.
God, I want an end to all the wars.
God, I want an end of all terrorism.
God, I want peace and nonviolence to be the way everywhere.
God, I want everyone to get good health care.
God, I want an end to the death penalty.
God, I want an end of all crime.
God, I want justice in the marketplace.
God, I want an end to the recession.
God, I want an end to unemployment.
God, I want good housing for everyone.
God, I want an economy that works for the common good of all the people.
God, I want an end to those human behaviors that cause global warming.
God, I want a stop to all those behaviors that dirty our air and our water.
God, I want universal respect for the environment.
God, I want an end to rape and sexual abuse.
God, I want to end all that violates the sacredness of life.
God, I want the courage to act for justice.
God, I want it all!
God, help us to do what is right.
God, help us to be a community of justice and peace.
God, help us all. Amen.
The Risen Christ signals the paths of hope
along which we can advance together
towards a world more just and mutually supportive,
in which the blind egoism of the few
will not prevail over the cries of pain of the many,
reducing entire peoples
to conditions of degrading misery.
May the message of life proclaimed by the angel
near the stone rolled back from the tomb
overturn the hardness of our hearts;
may it lead to removing unjustified barriers
and promote a fruitful exchange between peoples and cultures.
May the image of the new man,
shining on the face of Christ,
cause everyone to acknowledge
the inalienable value of human life;
may it encourage effective responses
to the increasingly felt demand
for justice and equal opportunity
in all areas of society;
may it impel individuals and States
to full respect for the essential and authentic rights
rooted in the very nature of the human person.
URBI et ORBI Message of His Holiness Pope John Paul II
Easter Sunday, 23 April 2000