Engaging Faith | Mon, Oct 18, 2010
Twenty-Ninth Sunday of Ordinary Time [c]
October 17, 2010
2 Timothy 3:14--4:2
October 16: World Food Day [See http://www.fao.org/getinvolved/worldfoodday/en/.]
October 17: International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
October 19: Feast of the North American Martyrs
October 24: World Mission Sunday
October 24: United Nations Day
Responsible action for resistance, correction, and healing are among the truest expressions of living faith.
Elizabeth Johnson CSJ, She Who Is, 268
The promotion of peace in the world is an integral part of the Church’s mission of continuing Christ’s work of redemption on earth.
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, 516
May the day come when international relationships will be characterized by respect and friendship, when mutual cooperation will be the hallmark of collaborative efforts, and when concerted effort for the betterment of all nations will be regarded as a duty by every nation.
PAUL VI, Populorum Progressio, 26 March 1967
However complex and difficult situations may be, do not lose trust. In the human heart, the seed of hope must never die. Indeed, always be attentive to discovering and encouraging every positive sign of personal and social renewal. Be prepared to further the courageous building of justice and peace with every possible means.
JOHN PAUL II, Homily, 19 November 2000
In a world where one-fifth of the population survives on less than one dollar per day, where some twenty countries are involved in major armed conflict, and where poverty, corruption, and repressive regimes bring untold suffering to millions of people, we simply cannot remain indifferent. As a wealthy and powerful nation, the United States has the capacity and the responsibility to address this scandal of poverty and underdevelopment. As a principal force in globalization, we have a responsibility to humanize globalization, and to spread its benefits to all, especially the world's poorest, while addressing its negative consequences.
US Bishops, Faithful Citizenship, 2004
Thoughts for your consideration
At the end of today’s gospel, Jesus wonders whether the Son of Man will find faith at the end of time. To put it in other words:
· Will people remain faithful to the spirit of God – the spirit of Jesus?
· Will human beings allow themselves to be transformed by the radical vision of Jesus?
· Will peace and justice prevail?
· Will our society care for those in need, like the widow?
Jesus proclaimed a radical message about God’s love for all of us. Jesus offered a radical invitation to love one another without condition – to love those who are different than ourselves, to love even our enemies. In a world with many examples of hatred, violence, war, and unnecessary death, Jesus appears with the radical call for us to love our enemies, to turn the other cheek, to trust in the way of peace, and to be especially concerned for those most in need.
· Can the followers of Jesus today be faithful to this call, or will the vision of active loving nonviolence get lost?
In the Hebrew Scriptures, the response to Amalek’s attack on Israel was to wage war trusting in the power of God to bring victory.
· Do we have the same trust in the power of God to bring us victory through the active nonviolent love that Jesus proposes?
· Can we “keep our arms outstretched” and believe in the victory of Jesus or will we lose faith and instead trust in our weapons or in military and economic power?
In the second reading we are told to “remain faithful to what we have learned and believed.” We are to “be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching.”
· Is this possible with God’s grace?
· As we work for justice, do we have the persistence and vision of the widow in the gospel story?
Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group
What does the Christian vision of active nonviolence say to you in light of war and terrorism? Do you believe it should be our response? Is this practical and realistic? Can you share that belief with others?
Our faith in the vision of Jesus can grow weak in light of all the problems and contradictions of our world. As we work for justice, when have you experienced the persistence and vision of the widow in the gospel story?
Actions - Links
International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (October 17)
The theme this year is "From Poverty to Decent Work: bridging the gap." Get more information at:
Be One in a Million—Join Us to Confront Global Poverty
“The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) call on one million Catholics in the United States to confront global poverty. Advocate with us to end hunger, disease, conflict, and other issues that affect the lives of our brothers and sisters worldwide.” http://www.usccb.org/sdwp/globalpoverty/
Join Catholics Confront Global Poverty at http://actioncenter.crs.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ccgp_signup
The following is from Robert Reich in the New York Times on September 3, 2010:
“The economists Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty examined tax returns from 1913 to 2008. They discovered an interesting pattern. In the late 1970s, the richest 1 percent of American families took in about 9 percent of the nation’s total income; by 2007, the top 1 percent took in 23.5 percent of total income.” http://www.nber.org/papers/w8467.pdf
Prayers of Intercession
Response: Lord, help us on the journey to justice and peace.
For the persistence and steadfastness to keep on doing what is right, we pray….
For a renewal of our commitment to the human rights of all people, we pray….
For the courage to speak up against war and injustice, we pray….
For blessings on all our work to serve and empower those who are poor and in need, we pray….
For an end to the war in Afghanistan and adjacent nations, we pray….
For a spirituality and prayer life that will help us put faith into action, we pray….
Oh Great Spirit,
I pray for myself in
order that I may be healed.
Oh Great Spirit,
I pray for my close friend who is sick and needs help.
Oh Great Spirit,
I pray for this world so that all these atomic weapons
And other bad things that we point at each other
Will someday soon all be destroyed.
I pray that adversaries will communicate
And all of the mistrust will be healed.
Oh, Great Spirit,
I pray for its cleansing
And the renewal of our Mother Earth.
A Native American Prayer from Ed McGaa, Eagle Man, found at: