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Lectionary Reflections: Second Sunday of Lent [c] February 24, 2013

Engaging Faith | Mon, Feb 18, 2013

By John Bucki, SJ
Source: Center of Concern

Second Sunday of Lent

Readings

Genesis 15:5-12, 17-18

Philippians 3:17- 4:1 or 3:20 – 4:1

Luke 9:28b -36


Calendar

February 18: Presidents’ Day

February 20: World Day of Social Justice http://www.un.org/en/events/socialjusticeday/ 

February 24/25: Purim / Feast of Lots [Jewish]

March is Women’s History Month 

March 1: International Day for the Abolition of the Death Penalty


Quotes

Only the path of dialogue can ensure a better and safer future for all.

- Benedict XVI, 8 January 2007

Listening to the cry of those who suffer violence and are oppressed by unjust systems and structures, and hearing the appeal of a world that by its perversity contradicts the plan of its Creator, we have shared our awareness of the Church's vocation to be present in the heart of the world by proclaiming the Good News to the poor, freedom to the oppressed, and joy to the afflicted.

- 1971 Synod of Bishops, Justice in the World 

Every kind of social or cultural discrimination in basic personal rights on the grounds of sex, race, color, social conditions, language, or religion, must be curbed and eradicated as incompatible with God's design.

- Vatican II

Salvation comes to us through all women and men who love truth more than lies, who are more eager to give than to receive, and whose love is that supreme love that gives life rather than keeping it for oneself.

- Jon Sobrino, Spirituality of Liberation

Our speech about God “… gives rise to a different vision of community, one in which the last shall be first, the excluded shall be included, the mighty put down from their thrones and the humbled exalted – the words of Mary of Nazareth’s song of praise (Lk 1:52), creating conditions for the formation of community characterized by relationships of mutuality and reciprocity, of love and justice.”

- Elizabeth Johnson CSJ, She Who Is, 28

Dear Brothers and Sisters, let us set out with trust on our Lenten journey, sustained by fervent prayer, penance and concern for those in need. In particular, may this Lent be a time of ever greater concern for the needs of children, in our own families and in society as a whole: for they are the future of humanity.

- John Paul II, Message for Lent 2004

Thoughts for your consideration

God makes big promises to Abram, soon to be called Abraham, and Abram understandably asks, "How am I to know that I shall possess it?"  We too might ask, “How will we know that God is with us as we journey on?  As we open our eyes to the problems of the world? As we engage the world’s problems? As we take the risk to see more clearly? As we take a stand for what is right?  As we speak up for justice?”

Abram sees the power of God in a ritual and a covenant. The disciples see the power of God in a profound prayer experience on the mountain. Lent is a time for us to open our eyes and see God. Lent us the time for us to grow in awareness – awareness of the presence of God in ourselves, in our prayer, in our action, in the people and the world around us, in the poor and the rich, in people who are different than ourselves and in people who are the same, in the challenges of life, in injustice and violence, in peace and justice, in our history, in all things.  Maybe the most critical criteria for evaluating our Lenten practice is whether it helps us to see well and then get into action.

This sort of transformation is possible. The Transfiguration is a sign of great hope. The disciples discover that it is possible to see the presence of God in Jesus. It is possible to see things in a new way.  It is possible for us today to see God in others. It is possible to let go of racism, to let go of the trap of materialism and the addiction to money, to let go of power and control, to let go of violence and militarism, to let go of inaction, to let go of our limiting ideologies, to let go of our blindness and selfishness. [It is even possible to let go of the religious experience on the mountain and come down and find God in all things.]

Abram led his family toward a new promised land. Moses led the people of Israel in the “exodus” out of Egypt. We are told that Jesus talks with Moses and Elijah about his upcoming “exodus.” The exodus experience can happen again. Jesus is about a new liberation from our blindness and slavery and about a new liberation for our world. 

Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group

How is your Lenten observance helping you to see in a new way?  

To be more aware of the presence of God in the world? 

To be better able to see and understand those who are different than yourself? 

To see the poor and needy of the world?

Story

It was lecture time and the Master said, "The genius of a composer is found in the notes of his music; but analyzing the notes will not reveal his genius. The poet's greatness is contained in his words; yet the study of his words will not disclose his inspiration. God reveals himself in creation; but scrutinize creation as minutely as you wish, you will not find God, any more than you will find the soul through careful examination of your body."

At question time someone asked, "How then shall we find God?"

"By looking at creation, not by analyzing it."

http://peacefulrivers.homestead.com/AnthonydeMello2.html

Actions - Links

Catholics Confront Global Poverty ‘Tiny Retreat

“During Lent, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops encourage you to participate in weekly ‘tiny retreats’-or five-minute reflections-to better lead you to solidarity with your brothers and sisters around the world.”

http://www.crsricebowl.org/participate/prayer/journey-through-the-desser...

New Study Sheds Light on Mistreatment of Migrants Crossing the U.S.-Mexico Border

http://www.jesuit.org/2013/02/14/new-study-sheds-light-on-mistreatment-o...

Catholic Climate Change

“The impact of climate change falls heaviest on the world’s poor. As Catholics, our faith demands prudent action.”  Go to http://catholicclimatecovenant.org/ 

 

“Crazy facts”

Since the beginning of human civilization up until about 200 years ago, our atmosphere contained about 275 parts per million of carbon dioxide.

Beginning in the 18th century, humans began to burn coal and gas and oil to produce energy and goods. The amount of carbon in the atmosphere began to rise, at first slowly and now more quickly. By now—and this is the second number—the planet has about 392 parts per million CO2 – and this number is rising by about 2 parts per million every year.

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.

Propelled by the news of these accelerating impacts, some of the world's leading climate scientists have now revised the highest safe level of CO2 to 350 parts per million. 

From http://350.org/about/science

 

Prayers of Intercession

Response:  God, help us to see and act in a new way.

For all those who are struggling through the experience of poverty and injustice, we pray….

For all those who suffering from the loss of jobs, homes, and savings because of the ongoing recession, we pray….

For all those trapped in the many places of war and terrorism on our planet, we pray….

For all children who do not have enough to eat or a decent place to live, we pray….

For all refugees and immigrants who are struggling to find a home with dignity, we pray….

For all women who are struggling for their rights, we pray….

For our planet which is so abused and overused by human activity, we pray….

For all those who are discouraged as they seek to act for justice and liberation for all, we pray….

Prayer

Liberator God

Set me free to see

To see the world as it is

To see its people as they are.

 

Divine Mother

Help me not to be afraid

Not to be afraid of the poor

Not to be afraid of the rich.

 

Joyful Friend:

Let me come alive

Alive this day in my prayer

Alive this day in my action

Alive with the works of justice and peace

Alive this day in your liberating spirit.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Prayer for Lent

May Lent be for us

A time of learning to see

Where Christ is crucified today,

A time of learning

To recognize the complex roots of injustice,

To recognize the Gethsemanes

In our global community.

May we witness the suffering

Of God's children

As Mary witnessed

Her beloved son's suffering.

 

May Lent be for us

A time of learning to become

An Easter people,

A time of learning

To recognize the deep roots of compassion,

To recognize we too are called

 

May Lent be for us

A time of learning to see

Where Christ is crucified today,

A time of learning

To recognize the complex roots of injustice,

To recognize the Gethsemanes

In our global community.

May we witness the suffering

Of God's children

As Mary witnessed

Her beloved son's suffering.

 

May Lent be for us

A time of learning to become

An Easter people,

A time of learning

To recognize the deep roots of compassion,

To recognize we too are called

To witness the empty tomb and

To announce

To a world in despair

the Hope of the Resurrection.

- By Jane Deren, Education for Justice, www.educationforjustice.org 

 

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