Engaging Faith | Mon, Sep 20, 2010
Amos 6:1a, 4-7
1 Timothy 6:11-16
Twenty-Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time [C] September 26, 2010
Amos 6:1a, 4-7
1 Timothy 6:11-16
September 21: International Day of Peace (Peace Day)
September 23: First Day of Autumn
September 26: National Catholic Charities Sunday
September 27: Feast of St. Vincent de Paul
October 1; International Day of Older Persons
October 2: Mahatma Gandhi's Birthday
October 3: Respect Life Sunday
“Individual initiative alone and the mere free play of competition could never assure successful development. One must avoid the risk of increasing still more the wealth of the rich and the dominion of the strong, whilst leaving the poor in their misery and adding to the servitude of the oppressed.”
--Pope Paul IV, On the Development of Peoples, #33
"Distributive justice requires that the allocation of income, wealth, and power in society be evaluated in light of its effects on persons whose basic material needs are unmet."
--U.S. Bishops, Economic Justice for All
The God of life summons us to life; more, to be life givers, especially toward those who lie under the heel of the powers.
If religion has so neglected the needs of the poor and of the great mass of workers and permitted them to live in the most horrible destitution while comforting them with the solace of a promise of a life after death when all tears shall be wiped away, then that religion is suspect. Who would believe such Job's comforters? On the other hand, if those professing religion shared the life of the poor and worked to better their lot and risked their lives as revolutionaries do, and trade union organizers have done in the past, then there is a ring of truth about the promises of the glory to come. The cross is followed by the resurrection.
-- Dorothy Day
Sophia pitches her tent in the midst of the world; This is profoundly good news for persons who are poor, denigrated, oppressed, struggling, victimized, and questing for life and the fullness of life, the majority of whom are women their dependent children.
--Elizabeth Johnson CSJ, She Who Is, 150
Thoughts for your consideration:
The scriptures today focus on the “chasm” that can exist between those who are rich and those who are poor – between those who have lots of power and control and those who have little power and control – between those who are like Lazarus and those who are like the rich man.
Catholic Social Teaching reminds us of God’s invitation to have a special concern for the poor – a special option for those who are in any way poor and powerless.
Catholic social teaching challenges us to do away with the chasms which divide our world and its people. We must allow the word and spirit of God to help us to bridge the “chasms” that divide us and not to create more “chasms.”
Our world is filled with chasms that divide people and prevent all of God’s people from enjoying justice and peace:
• between rich nations and poor nations (the developing world).
• between nations and corporations that make policy and those who are at the mercy of their policies.
• between executives who make millions and employees who barely make a living wage.
• between the right and the left in our political system.
• between the way men and women are treated in our economic and political systems.
• between those who respect life and those who do not.
• between those who have access to great health care and those who have almost no access.
• between those who enjoy human rights and those who are denied basic rights
• between those who have military power and those who are controlled or abused by such power.
• between those who seek to accumulate possessions for themselves and those who focus their lives on others.
Jesus once said that “to the one whom much has been given, much is expected.” (Luke 12:48) The scriptures invite us to reflect on wealth. Amos is most critical about the wealthy who live in luxury, but give nothing back to the community. Jesus talks about the rich man who doesn’t even respond to the poor man living right outside his house.
As individuals many of us have been given lots. Certainly, as a society, we in the United States enjoy wealth and plenty, even if it is not always distributed evenly. Even in the midst of the ongoing recession, there is still a lot of wealth in our nation.
What responsibility do we have to do something with our wealth to benefit the common good? When do we have a responsibility to say that we have enough? When do we have a responsibility to give to those who have little? The gospel today should leave us with lots of good questions. What is our response?
Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group:
When have you had direct contact with those who are economically poor?
How has this contact changed you?
We live in a world of great inequalities. How does that affect you?
Does it move you to see things and people differently?
Does it move you to do anything differently?
“In 2009, the number of people going to sleep hungry every day reached an all-time high of more than 1 billion – most of them children and women.”
Actions - Links:
People in Poverty during the Recession
NETWORK, the Catholic Social Justice Lobby, recently released a new report on how people in poverty are struggling during the economic recession. You can read the point at
Oxfam on the Millennium Development Goals
“Ten years after the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) agreed by world leaders became the greatest-ever commitment for a ‘more peaceful, prosperous and just future', progress is slow and many hard-won achievements have been undone after the global food, fuel and economic crises.” This Oxfam report makes proposes to address this problem.
National Catholic Charities Sunday
September 26 is National Catholic Charities Sunday.
2010 is the Centennial anniversary of Catholic Charities.
Saint Vincent DePaul
The Feast of Saint Vincent DePaul is September 27. Vincent had a special concern for the poor. The Society of Saint Vincent DePaul tries to work for the poor inspired by his spirit. In the United States many dioceses and parishes have chapters who try to address the needs of people who are poor. Go to http://www.vincenter.org/tree/svdp/index.html for more info.
Prayers of Intercession:
Response: God, teach us to hear the cry of the poor.
For people of wealth everywhere, that they may be freed from greed and selfishness, we pray…..
For the wealthy nations of the world, that they may share with those in need, we pray….
For large corporations, investment funds, controllers of capital, and institutions of all sorts, that they may invest in the common good, we pray….
For the poor nations of our world community, who are often trapped by debt and other forms of oppression, we pray….
For those suffering from the ongoing recession and economic crisis of the last few years, we pray….
For all ethnic and racial groups, who lack access to the resources of their nations and our world, we pray….
For all those living in fear of others, especially the poor, we pray…..
For some poems written in response to the “The Liberation Poetry of Ernesto Cardenal” go to http://user.icx.net/~richmond/rsr/cardenal/cardenal.html
WAKE UP AND PAY ATTENTION!
Wake up and pay attention!
You have no idea what you're missing!
Focused on the wrong things
It's harder than it needs to be.
Practice makes perfect.
-- Barbara Casey
--Lectionary Reflection by Fr. John Bucki, S.J.