Engaging Faith | Mon, Sep 27, 2010
Twenty-Seventh Sunday of Ordinary Time [c]
October 3, 2010
Habakkuk 1:2-3; 2:2-4
2 Timothy 1:6-8, 13-14
October 1; International Day of Older Persons
October 2: Mahatma Gandhi's Birthday
October 3: Respect Life Sunday
October 4: Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi
October 5: International World Day for Teachers
… the vision still has its time, presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint.
It is to be hoped that hatred and violence will not triumph in people's hearts, especially among those who are struggling for justice, and that all people will grow in the spirit of peace and forgiveness.
Pope John Paul II, Centesimus Annus
The Church … has always taught and continues today to teach a very simple axiom: peace is possible. Indeed, the Church does not tire of repeating that peace is a duty. It must be built on the four pillars indicated by Blessed John XXIII in his Encyclical Pacem in Terris: truth, justice, love and freedom. A duty is thus imposed upon all those who love peace: that of teaching these ideals to new generations, in order to prepare a better future for all mankind.
Pope John Paul II, 1 January 2004
To all I solemnly repeat the Gospel injunction not to be conquered by evil, but to conquer evil with good (Rom 12:21), to trust in the power of God's grace to transform human hearts and to work fearlessly to shape a future of justice, peace and security for the children of our world.
Letter of John Paul II to Cardinal McCarrick, Archbishop of Washington,
after the events of September 11, 2001
Where would we be today if certain women, men, young people, and also children had not arisen at moments when the human family seemed destined for the worst? They did not say: "Let things take their course!" Beyond the confrontations between persons, peoples, and spiritual families, they prepared a way of trusting. Their lives bear witness to the fact that human beings have not been created for hopelessness.
- Brother Roger of Taize
He rejected violence for any reason. His whole teaching, in his word and in his actions was, we transform the world into the reign of God through the power of love and nothing else -- not through violence, not through war, not through killing, but only through love.
Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, Apr. 01, 2010
Thoughts for your consideration
The readings today speak of the wonderful, positive power of faith in the midst of all kinds of problems and challenges.
- Habakkuk writes: “… the vision still has its time, presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint.”
- Paul speaks of a “rich trust that dwells within us.”
- Jesus says that if you have faith “the size of a mustard seed,” you can move a mountain.
The violence, of which Habakkuk speaks, has been made real in our generation in wars and terrorism, in situations of genocide, in domestic violence, and in all sorts of disputes. The war, the bombings, the ethnic clashes, and foreign interference continue in Iraq and Afghanistan. Endless ethnic and economic fighting continues in many places in Africa. Wealthy nations and corporations continue to exploit and control. Extreme poverty continues in various nations of the world. The recession drags on and economic inequality increases dramatically. Ideological political disputes continue in US politics while the Congress cannot get things done. Personal attacks are part of public discourse. We can easily feel discouraged. We can easily be disgusted with everything in our public life.
Violence is not new. It appears again and again throughout human history. Violence takes place in countless large and small acts of terrorism and war, takes place in our cities and streets, takes place in the developing world and in the developed nations, takes place in the injustice in our economic and social relationships, and even sometimes takes place in our homes and domestic relationships.
The scriptures today remind us that God has an alternate vision of how life is to be lived. The “mountain” can be moved. There is alternative to violence and discord. Active nonviolence and peace is possible. Habakkuk writes “… the vision still has its time, presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint.” God calls us all to live in peace and justice.
The scriptures today remind us that we can only address this violence if we know ourselves and our limits. Without self-knowledge, we are destined to repeat the mistakes that cause violence. We are “servants.” We need that increase in faith that can only come from God. We are not in charge of everything. We don’t have to be in charge of everything. We don’t have to use force. We don’t have to be more than we are. [“When you have done all you have been commanded, say, 'We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.'"] With this sort of realism and humility, we will have the wisdom to talk to one another, to avoid violence, and bless the world with Christ’s gift of peace and justice.
Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group
When have you found yourself crying out to God in anger because of some injustice or violence? How did you get the strength to go on with life?
Habakkuk writes “… the vision still has its time, presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint.”
How does this hope show up in your life? In your world?
Actions – Links
Women Thrive Worldwide (formerly the Women's Edge Coalition)
… is the leading non-profit organization shaping U.S. policy to help women in developing countries lift themselves out of poverty. …. Women Thrive develops, shapes, and advocates for policies that foster economic opportunity for women living in poverty. We focus on making U.S. international assistance and trade programs prioritize women. We bring together a diverse coalition of over 50 organizations and 40,000 individuals united in the belief that women are the key to ending global poverty, and empowering them is not only right, it’s also the most effective long-term solution to world poverty.
Their web site is at http://www.womenthrive.org Consider joining their effort to pass the Support the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA - H.R. 4594, S. 2982) by going to http://www.womenthrive.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=366&Itemid=121
Consistent Life (formerly called Seamless Garment Network) is a network uniting many organizations and individuals who support the consistent ethic of reverence for life. Their web site is: http://www.consistent-life.org
We are committed to the protection of life, which is threatened in today's world by war, abortion, poverty, racism, capital punishment and euthanasia. We believe that these issues are linked under a 'consistent ethic of life'. We challenge those working on all or some of these issues to maintain a cooperative spirit of peace, reconciliation, and respect in protecting the unprotected.
“One out of every three women worldwide will be physically, sexually or otherwise abused during her lifetime with rates reaching 70 percent in some countries. This type of violence and abuse ranges from rape to domestic violence and acid burnings to dowry deaths and so-called honor killings. Violence against women and girls is an extreme human rights violation, a public health epidemic and a barrier to solving global challenges such as extreme poverty, HIV/AIDS and conflict. It devastates the lives of millions of women and girls--- in peacetime and in conflict --- and knows no national or cultural barriers.”
Prayers of Intercession
Response: Lord, lead us on the road to peace.
For an end to all our wars, especially the war in Iraq, we pray….
For an end to all our spending on weapons and preparation for war, we pray….
For an end to all ethnic violence, terrorism, and genocide, we pray….
For an end to all psychological violence and manipulation, we pray….
For an end to domestic violence and for a richer peace in our homes and relationships, we pray….
For an end to all violence against women, we pray….
For an end to all dishonest and violent political discourse, and the beginning of deeper dialogue and collaboration, we pray…..
For a profound and active respect for life, we pray….
In the midst of conflict and division
We know it is you who turns our minds to thoughts of peace.
Your Spirit changes our hearts:
Enemies begin to speak to one another,
Those who were estranged join hands in friendship
And nations seek the way of peace together.
Let Your Spirit be at work in us.
Give us understanding and put an end to strife,
Fill us with mercy and overcome our denial.
Grant us wisdom and teach us to learn from the people of the land
Call us to justice.
Adapted from the Preface of the Eucharistic Prayer for Masses of Reconciliation II
by the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council