Engaging Faith | Sat, May 28, 2011
Seventh Sunday of Easter [a]
June 5, 2011
1 Peter 4:13-16
June: World Refugee Awareness Month
June 4: International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression
June 12: Pentecost
…. recognition of the transcendent value of every man and woman favors conversion of heart, which then leads to a commitment to resist violence, terrorism and war, and to promote justice and peace.
Benedict XVI, address at the UN, 18 April 2008
Our commitment to the Catholic social mission must be rooted in and strengthened by our spiritual lives. In our relationship with God we experience the conversion of heart that is necessary to truly love one another as God has loved us.
US Bishops, Sharing Catholic Social Teaching: Challenges and Directions
Solidarity is not a feeling of vague compassion or shallow distress at the misfortunes of so many people, both near and far. On the contrary, it is a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good, that is to say, to the good of all and of each individual because we are all really responsible for all.
John Paul II
The glory of God is a human person fully alive. A human person fully alive is the glory of God.
Because God is the creator, redeemer, lover of the world, God’s own honor is at stake in human happiness. Wherever human beings are violated, diminished, or have their life drained away, God’s glory is dimmed and dishonored. Wherever human beings are quickened to fuller and richer life, God’s glory is enhanced. A community of justice and peace (thriving among human beings) and God’s glory increase in direct and not inverse proportion.
Elizabeth Johnson CSJ, She Who Is
Thoughts for your consideration
Ø The early community “devoted themselves with one accord to prayer.”
Ø Peter reminds us of the ideal solidarity with Christ and with one another, even to the point of solidarity with the suffering of Christ.
Ø The high priestly prayer of the gospel reading expresses Jesus’ great desire that the whole community be one, even as it is “in the world.”
In the complex global economy of today, we are challenged to live with this same sense of unity with one another, this same commitment to the common good, this same solidarity with those who suffer or are in need. In the midst of ethnic and political strife, we are invited to put into practice the “call to solidarity.” In the midst war, we are called to work for peace. In the midst of injustice, we are called to discern the paths to justice for all. [After all Jesus prays for “eternal life to all.”]
The Christian vision challenges any rugged individualism that fails to consider how our actions affect others, any greed that creates an economic system that locks people into poverty while others are excessively wealthy, any set of ethical values that excludes others from their human and economic rights, and any violence that fails to respect the dignity of other people.
Today, June 5, happens to be World Environment Day. We share a common concern for our planet. We share a common space (the planet Earth). We share a finite set of resources. We share a responsibility to care for and respect what we have been given. We are called to share our gifts and use them responsibly.
Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group
When have you experienced disunity and discord in the Christian community?
When have you noticed a lack of solidarity or unity with those in need?
How have you changed your practices to show a great care for our environment?
How do you live your life differently in light of increasing challenge of climate change?
Actions – Links
In May, “a working group of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, one of the oldest scientific institutes in the world, issued a sobering report on the impacts for humankind as a result of the global retreat of mountain glaciers as a result of human activity leading to climate change.” You may read the report at http://catholicclimatecovenant.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Pontifical-Academy-of-Sciences_Glacier_Report_050511_final.pdf or read a summary at http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5256/t/0/blastContent.jsp?email_blast_KEY=1163273 Get more info and suggestions for action at sites like http://catholicclimatecovenant.org or at http://www.350.org/
World Environment Day
The following is from http://www.350.org/en/about/science
- 350 parts per million is what many scientists, climate experts, and progressive national governments are now saying is the safe upper limit for CO2 in our atmosphere.
- For all of human history until about 200 years ago, our atmosphere contained 275 parts per million of carbon dioxide.
- By now ... the planet has about 388 parts per million CO2 – and this number is rising by about 2 parts per million every year.
o The oceans are growing more acidic because of the CO2 they are absorbing, which makes it harder for animals like corals and clams to build and maintain their shells and skeletons. Coral reefs could start dissolving at an atmospheric CO2 concentration of 450-500 ppm.
o The Arctic is sending us perhaps the clearest message that climate change is occurring much more rapidly than scientists previously thought. In the summer of 2007, sea ice was roughly 39% below the summer average for 1979-2000, a loss of area equal to nearly five United Kingdoms.
Prayers of Intercession
Response: Lord, help us to be one.
For an end to all the dozens of wars that divide our world, we pray….
For an end to the violence that shows up all over our world, we pray….
For an end to our abuse and overuse of the planet, we pray….
For a greater commitment to reduce our environmental footprint, we pray…..
For a strong commitment to the common good in how we live together, we pray….
For the grace to listen to one another, we pray…
For the grace of reconciliation and understanding, we pray….
For Spirit to come and lead us on the road to peace and life, we pray….
Prayer and Mediation
Jesus, share with me your spirit of freedom.
Bless me with the freedom to be aware.
Aware of your presence everywhere.
Aware of your compassionate love for all the world and its creatures.
Aware of sin and injustice, of violence and oppression.
Aware of propaganda, racism, and all untruth.
Aware of the possibilities for a new heaven and a new earth.
Aware of the possibilities for an active nonviolence and a loving witness for justice.
Aware of the possibilities for relationship and joy.
Bless me with the freedom to act.
To act without fear.
To act out of a deep relationship in prayer.
To act for what is right and good.
To act for justice and peace.
To act in solidarity with others.
To act in solidarity with you.
Jesus, bless me with the freedom to be alive as a child of God.