Engaging Faith | Tue, May 24, 2011
Sixth Sunday of Easter [a]
May 29, 2011
Acts 8:5-8, 14-17
1 Peter 3:15-18
May 30: Memorial Day in the United States
June 1: Stand for Children Day
June 2 or 5: Ascension of the Lord (depending on diocese in the US)
If you do not hope, you will not find what is beyond your hopes.
St. Clement of Alexandria
In the joy of the resurrected Lord, trustful of his permanent help, we go ahead, sure that God will help. And Mary, his most beloved Mother, stands on our side.
Benedict XVI, 19 April 2005
Flagrant inequalities exist in the economic, cultural and political development of the nations: while some regions are heavily industrialized, others are still at the agricultural stage; while some countries enjoy prosperity, others are struggling against starvation; while some peoples have a high standard of culture, others are still engaged in eliminating illiteracy. From all sides there rises a yearning for more justice and a desire for a better guaranteed peace in mutual respect among individuals and peoples.
Pope Paul VI, Apostolic Letter of 14 May 1971, (#2)
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
Those who sit atop the social and economic pyramid always speak of love, while those at the bottom always speak of justice.
Life is like a voyage on the sea of history, often dark and stormy, a voyage in which we watch for the stars that indicate the route. The true stars of our life are the people who have lived good lives. They are lights of hope. Certainly, Jesus Christ is the true light, the sun that has risen above all the shadows of history. But to reach him we also need lights close by—people who shine with his light and so guide us along our way.
~ Pope Benedict XVI, Spe Salvi, 49
Thoughts for your consideration
If one is aware of world problems, one can feel overwhelmed and discouraged. Justice for the poor, peace between nations, food for all the hungry, housing for the homeless, equal rights for all men and women, human rights for the oppressed, and an end to war and violence, can all seem to be impossible.
The first reading talks of joy and healing. Catholic Social teaching must not fall into the trap of discouragement and guilt. God is calling us and our world to healing and even joy. Good things can happen with the power of the Spirit.
The second reading speaks of hope. The healing that God wants for our world can happen. Good can overcome evil.
The gospel speaks of a relationship of love and solidarity between the Father and Jesus and then with all of us. This unity and solidarity can be made real, not just in our hearts or not just in an interior feeling, but also in the way people are treated and in the way love is expressed in action for justice and peace.
As people of faith we are more aware than ever of countless world problems and examples of injustice. As people of faith we are more aware than ever that we want an end to all the injustice. As people of faith we believe more than ever that with God’s help we can offer something better to our world and its people.
Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group
In the midst of world problems, what signs of hope do you see?
What things give you hope?
Actions – Links
Rainforest Action Network
“Rainforest Action Network (RAN) is headquartered in San Francisco, California with office staff in Tokyo, Japan, plus thousands of volunteer scientists, teachers, parents, students and other concerned citizens around the world. We believe that a sustainable world can be created in our lifetime, and that aggressive action must be taken immediately to leave a safe and secure world for our children.” Read more: About RAN | Rainforest Action Network http://ran.org/content/about-ran#ixzz1NCmFf6mF Take action online at http://ran.org/content/take-action-online .
Children’s Defense Fund
Take action online about issues important to children at
The following are from the Stand up for Children Leadership Center:
“After WW II, the U.S. was 1st among industrialized nations in high school graduation rates. Today, we are 21st.”
“Of the 13 million children growing up in poverty today, only 1 in 10 will graduate from college.”
“Close to 50 percent of students in low-income communities will not graduate from high school by the time they're 18 years old.”
Prayers of Intercession
Response: Loving God, give us a new Spirit for justice and peace.
For all who are sick, especially those without insurance, we pray….
For all our children, especially those with a quality education, we pray….
For all workers, especially those who find themselves without a living wage or enough work, or any work at all, we pray…..
For all those who are living in nations without true political freedom and guarantees of human rights, we pray….
For all those in the military, especially those in Iraq and Afghanistan and other troubled places, we pray….
For our planet earth, especially for those parts of our planet that are threatened by the effects of global warming, we pray…..
A Christian Prayer for Peace
Blessed are the PEACEMAKERS,
for they shall be known as
the Children of God.
But I say to you that hear,
love your enemies,
do good to those who hate you,
bless those who curse you,
pray for those who abuse you.
To those who strike you on the cheek,
offer the other also,
and from those who take away your cloak,
do not withhold your coat as well.
Give to everyone who begs from you,
and of those who take away your goods,
do not ask them again.
And as you wish that others would do to you,
so do to them.