Engaging Faith | Mon, Mar 14, 2011
Second Sunday of Lent [a]
March 20, 2011
1 Timothy 1:8b-10
March 17: Feast of Saint Patrick
March 19: Feast of Saint Joseph
March 19 & 20: anniversary of the beginning of the War in Iraq
March 20: First Day of Spring
March 22: World Water Day
March 24: Anniversary of Archbishop Oscar Romero's Death
The spiritual life depends on the Unseen. Each day try to see more good in people, more of the Unseen in the seen.
Twenty-Four Hours a Day
We are moved to free our hearts every day from the burden of material things, from a self-centered relationship with the “world” that impoverishes us and prevents us from being available and open to God and our neighbor.
Pope Benedict XVI, Message for Lent 2011, 3
Love of neighbor is an absolute demand for justice, because charity must manifest itself in actions and structures which respect human dignity, protect human rights, and facilitate human development. To promote justice is to transform structures which block love.
1971 Synod of Bishops, Justice in the World
"We call upon all people of goodwill, but Catholics especially, to welcome the newcomers in their neighborhoods and schools, in their places of work and worship, with heartfelt hospitality, openness, and eagerness both to help and to learn from our brothers and sisters, of whatever race, religion, ethnicity, or background."
US Bishops, Unity in Diversity, November 2000, p.17
Thoughts for your consideration
Benedict XVI writes in his encyclical Spe Salvi that “… the Gospel is not merely a communication of things that can be known—it is one that makes things happen and is life-changing.” The gospel story of the transfiguration is such a communication. The disciples now see in a new way. They are called to bring that new way of seeing with them as they leave the mountain. Jesus urges them not to build tents and stay on the mountain. Jesus sends them forth with a new vision. In the midst of our complex contemporary world, the gospel invites us to be free enough to see things in a new way and from other viewpoints. This is especially important if we are to put the social teaching of the gospel into practice and not just get trapped by the viewpoint of our culture.
We see Christ in all men and women.
We see Christ in a special way in the experience of those who are poor or suffering.
We see Christ in those who are suffering from torture or any form of violence.
We see Christ in the struggle of people and nations to enjoy basic human rights.
We see Christ in single parents striving to be there for their children.
We see Christ in the journey and struggle of immigrants and refugees.
We see Christ in the beauty of the world.
We see Christ in world stressed by excess human activity and energy consumption.
We see Christ in the people of Japan who are recovering from the massive earthquake.
We see Christ in all the hopes, joys, struggles and sufferings of the world.
The experience of Abram in the first reading resonates with the experience of the millions of immigrants and refugees in our own era who are “called” to search for a new land, enduring all the problems which that entails. Thus we have another invitation to see things in a new way – from another point of view, from the perspective of immigrants and refugees.
Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group
This Lent, how is God calling you to see things in a new way – from a new point of view?
What is your experience of working with immigrants and refugees?
Do you know any? How have they taught you to know or see?
Actions - Links
The Jubilee USA Network http://www.jubileeusa.org is working to address the problem of extreme poverty in the world by relieving the debt burdens of the poorest nations of the world. One of their current campaigns is called the Voices of Esther Campaign.
The Book of Esther tells the story of a woman who used her access to power to save her people from certain death, even at the risk of losing her own life. … Like Esther, United States citizens have access to powerful decision makers that affect the lives of millions around the world. We must use our privilege of living in a democracy and raise up the voices of the most vulnerable through our own advocacy efforts.
“The net worth of the nation’s 400 wealthiest individuals exceeds the net worth of half of all American households.” http://politifact.com/wisconsin/statements/2011/mar/10/michael-moore/michael-moore-says-400-americans-have-more-wealth-/
Prayers of Intercession
Response: God, help us to see with a new vision.
For all those experiencing poverty and suffering, we pray….
For all those caught up in places of war and strife, we pray…
For the people of Libya as their nation is torn by war and conflict, we pray….
For all those who are victims of torture or any form of violence, we pray….
For all people and nations working to obtain their basic human rights, we pray….
For immigrants and refugees, we pray….
For our planet earth and all our natural gifts, we pray….
For the people of Japan as they recover from the recent earthquake and tsunami, we pray….
Prayer - Meditation
From Catholic Relief Services at http://c0019915.cdn1.cloudfiles.rackspacecloud.com/2010/11/A-Justice-Blessing.pdf
A Justice Blessing
May God bless you with discomfort with easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships so that you will live deep within your heart.
May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression and exploitation of people so that you will work for justice, equity and peace.
May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation and war so that you will reach out your hand to comfort them and change their pain to joy.
And may God bless you with the foolishness to think that you can make a difference in the world so that you will do the things which others tell you cannot be done.
Written by Elaine Menardi
Diocese of Cheyenne, WY
CRS Called to Witness, Ecuador
Go to the US Catholic Conference Web Site for various prayers for immigrants and refugees:
Lord Jesus, help us by your grace,
· To banish fear from our hearts, that we may embrace each of your children as our own brother and sister;
· To welcome migrants and refugees with joy and generosity, while responding to their many needs;
· To realize that you call all people to your holy mountain to learn the ways of peace and justice;
· To share of our abundance as you spread a banquet before us;
· To give witness to your love for all people, as we celebrate the many gifts they bring.