Engaging Faith | Mon, Sep 13, 2010
Twenty-Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time [c]
September 19, 2010
1 Timothy 2:1-8
Luke 16:1-13 or 16:10-13
September 17: start of Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement
September 19: National Catechetical Sunday
September 21: International Day of Peace (Peace Day)
September 23: First Day of Autumn
If you desire peace, work for justice.
- Paul VI
Today, in a world that is increasingly complex and interdependent, there is a need for a new spirit of dialogue and cooperation between Christians and Muslims. Together we acknowledge the one indivisible God, the Creator of all that exists. Together we must proclaim to the world that the name of the one God is ‘a name of peace and a summons to peace' (Novo Millennio Ineunte, 55)!"
John Paul II on his arrival in Syria, May 5, 2001
Peace is the fruit of justice and is dependent upon right order among humans and among nations. The arms race must cease and progressive disarmament take place if the future is to be secure. In order to promote peace and the conditions of peace, an effective international authority is necessary.
Catholic Social Teaching, Our Best Kept Secret, page 24
Modern man maintains that enlightened self-interest
is the way to see that society governs itself
But the self-interest is no longer enlightened and
no one is remembering principle
When interest becomes the only principle
What we get is a selfish society
Thoughts for your consideration
A few decades ago, Pope Paul VI stated that “If you desire peace, work for justice.” Today Amos speaks in the strongest terms about those whose economic actions are “trampling the needy and destroying the poor.” Today Jesus says that one “cannot love both God and money.”
If we want peace, how must we speak and live the message of justice today?
War and terrorism continue in our world. Violence exists on so many levels. The Christian response to the violence of our world must flow from reflection on the realities of injustice that lead to the ways of violence.
The same energy that goes into making money should go into concern for the poor, justice for all, respect for other cultures and religious faiths, an end to violence and militarism, and a commitment to peace and the way of Jesus.
War and violence will continue generation after generation, unless we hear the words of the prophets and commit our energy toward an end to all injustice and violence.
As Amos found examples of people in his time who put profit before people and economic domination before justice for all, we may be able to find such examples in our global economy and in our local economies as well. Trade policies often disadvantage the poor and developing nations. Corporations are sometimes more concerned with their self-interest than what is right for employees and consumers. Profits are sometimes maximized at the expense of the environment. The minimum wage is often not a living wage. Tax benefits seem to flow to those who have a lot and not to those who have little. Health care is not available to all. Children are not all offered a quality education. Money is spent on war rather than human needs.
Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group
Where in your life have you experienced economic injustice?
Who are the people whom you feel are victimized by our economic system?
In the United States, as we approach another election, various economic and tax policies are being debated? What policies seem to be most consistent with our Catholic Social Teaching?
Actions - Links
International Day of Peace
Fighting Poverty with Faith
“In 2008, 49.1 million people lived in food-insecure households up from 36.2 million in 2007, according the most recent data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Growing unemployment in 2009 and 2010 means those numbers have almost certainly increased. In the past two years, the number of Americans receiving benefits from SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly food stamps) increased by more than 12 million or 44 percent.”
Prayers of Intercession
Response: God, help us hear the cry of the poor.
For the homeless, we pray….
For immigrants and refugees, we pray….
For children without quality education, we pray….
For all those living under the threat of violence and war, we pray….
For people without work and those working without a living wage, we pray….
For all those without access to adequate medical care, we pray….
For all those who have plenty, we pray…
God of life, help us to choose life, not death.
God of life, help us to respect, not destroy.
God of life, help us treasure, not control.
God of life, help us see our value not in things, but in your gifts.
God of life, beat our swords into plowshares.
Beat are spears into pruning hooks.
Replace our shopping sprees with celebrations of community.
Replace our busyness with contemplation.
Change our things into gifts.
Change our violence into your peace.
God of life, help us work for a world without poverty.
Let us learn to share our food with the hungry.
Help us to educate one another so we can all have enough.
Help us create a world where all can find work.
Help us support a culture of opportunity for all.
Help us focus on the common good.
God of life, help us to choose life, not death.