Engaging Faith | Mon, Feb 25, 2013
Third Sunday of Lent
Exodus 3:1-8a, 13-15
1 Corinthians 10:1-6, 10-12
March is Women’s History Month
March 8: International Women’s Day http://www.internationalwomensday.com/
The hungry nations of the world cry out to the peoples blessed with abundance. And the Church, cut to the quick by this cry, asks each and every man to hear his brother's plea and answer it lovingly.
Paul VI, Populorum Progressio, 3
Humanity needs a profound cultural renewal; it needs to rediscover those values which can serve as the solid basis for building a brighter future for all.
Benedict XVI, January 1, 2010
Action on behalf of justice and participation in the transformation of the world fully appear to us as a constitutive dimension of the preaching of the Gospel, or, in other words, of the Church's mission for the redemption of the human race and its liberation from every oppressive situation.
1971 Bishops’ Synod, Justice in the World, 6
Workers must be paid a wage which allows them to live a truly human life and to fulfill their family obligations in a worthy manner. …Economic progress must be accompanied by a corresponding social progress, so that all classes of citizens can participate in the increased productivity. … the economic prosperity of a nation is not so much its total assets in terms of wealth and property, as the equitable division and distribution of this wealth.
John XXIII, Mater et Magistra 71-74
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, 14
Thoughts for your consideration
The scriptures today affirm that God is concerned with the world.
In the first reading God looks at the oppressed people of Israel and wants to do something. "I have witnessed the affliction of my people in Egypt and have heard their cry of complaint against their slave drivers, so I know well what they are suffering.” God reaches out to Moses and directs him into action. God is concerned with history. (God is the God of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, and all the particular people in history – even people today.) God calls Moses out of the desert and into action - into the divine plan for liberation. God wants something to happen to relieve the oppression of the people. God is concerned with justice.
In the gospel, Jesus is asked about those who were killed by the political activity of the Romans or by the accidental collapse of a building. Jesus does not see these acts as a punishment from God for some evil deeds. Rather Jesus seems to focus on a “reform” by all of us and a transformation in all of us. Jesus says “But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!”
Jesus is concerned with liberation and freedom for all men and women. Jesus is looking for “fruit” or “results”. Don’t focus on judgment and condemnation. Get focused on action and liberation. That is what God is about. That is what the Christian community is about. We are called to be concerned with justice and the plight of those who are oppressed. God wants us to focus on environmental justice, economic justice, just international relations, and a commitment to peace.
Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group
In the first reading God looks at the oppressed people of Israel and wants to do something for them. God reaches out to Moses and directs him into action. What does God see as God looks on the world today? Does God see any injustice that calls out for action?
How does one work for social change and liberation in our world today? What would the God of the burning bush say to a modern-day Moses?
In the gospel, Jesus says “But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!” What is the repentance that God calls for today? What is the change that we as a community are being called to work for?
(from the Lives of the Desert Fathers)
Abbot Lot came to Abbot Joseph and said, “Father, according to my capacity I keep my little rule and my little fast, my prayer, my meditation, my contemplative silence; and according as I am able I cleanse my heart of evil thoughts. Now what more should I do?’
The elder stood up in reply. He stretched out his hand to heaven and his fingers became fire, ten lamps of fire. He said: “This: become totally changed into fire.”
International Women’s Day
•March 8 is International Women’s Day. http://www.internationalwomensday.com/
•The web site for the United Nations Development Fund for Women has some very helpful resources. http://www.unifem.org./
•This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women” http://www.unwomen.org/how-we-work/csw/csw57/iwd2013/
•“When we include girls in education, health and economic investment we have a better chance of preventing issues such as child marriage, teen pregnancy, HIV/AIDS and breaking the inter-generational cycle of poverty.” http://www.girleffect.org/ Also go to http://coalitionforadolescentgirls.org/
“The time is now for immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship.” Read about this issue at http://www.networklobby.org/issues/comprehensive-immigration-reform. Join NETWORK in advocating of humane immigration reform at http://capwiz.com/networklobby/issues/alert/?alertid=62368196
70 percent of the two billion poor in the world are women.
Two thirds of illiterate adults are women.
Prayers of Intercession
Response: God of compassion, hear our cry for justice.
For all women and men who are denied their human rights, we pray….
For all people caught up in the violence of war, we pray….
For all our political leaders, that they will lead us away from war and toward peace, we pray….
For all children who do not have enough to eat or a decent place to live, we pray….
For all those who do not have access of good health care, we pray….
For all refugees and immigrants who are struggling to find a home with dignity, we pray….
For all women who struggling for justice, especially as we approach International Women’s Day, we pray…
For all those who are discouraged as they seek to act for justice and liberation for all, we pray….
God, you are good. The world is filled with your goodness.
In Jesus, we have seen your love and your desire for transformation.
In the Spirit, alive today, we know your healing love and radical, loving wisdom.
You passionately desire human happiness.
God, we’ve noticed that some people have distorted your record and have even ruined your good reputation.
Whenever any human life is violated, your glory is dimmed and dishonored.
Whenever humans engage in the ways of violence, your spirit is hindered.
Whenever our beautiful world is abused, your presence is less visible.
Whenever the systems of our world keep the poor poor, you are hard to fine.
God, we desire to restore your reputation and expose the wonder of your glory.
Wherever human beings are quickened to fuller and richer life, your glory is enhanced.
Whenever we can complete the ministry of reconciliation, your spirit comes alive.
Whenever there is a community of justice and peace, you are alive among us.
God, help to get into action.
Inspired by a quote from Elizabeth Johnson CSJ, in She Who Is, page 14