Engaging Faith | Fri, Apr 19, 2013
Lectionary Reflections for Fifth Sunday of Easter
Posted April 19, 2013
Copyright © 2013, Center of Concern
John 13:31-33a, 34-35
April 26: Arbor Day
May 1: May Day, International Worker’s Day, Feast of St. Joseph the Worker
May 3: Good Friday (Orthodox)
May 5: Easter/Pascha (Orthodox)
“Are we capable of bringing the word of God into the environment in which we live? Do we know how to speak of Christ, of what he represents for us, in our families, among the people who form part of our daily lives? Faith is born from listening, and is strengthened by proclamation.”
- Pope Francis, homily on April 14, 2013
“The Christian message does not inhibit men and women from building up the world, or make them disinterested in the welfare of their fellow human beings: on the contrary it obliges them more fully to do these very things.”
- Pope John Paul II
“The Old Testament prophets emphasize that worship and prayer are not pleasing to God unless they are accompanied by practical works of justice and charity… we must acknowledge the call to commit ourselves ever more generously to working for justice and the liberation of the oppressed.”
- Pope John Paul II, General Audience, Jan. 10, 2001
“Solidarity is... a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good. It is... squarely opposed to greed and the thirst for power.”
- Pope John Paul II
“Charity is no substitute for justice withheld.”
- St. Augustine
“We know only too well that what we are doing is nothing more than a drop in the ocean. But if the drop were not there, the ocean would be missing something.”
Thoughts for your consideration
The Book of Revelation proclaims: “God’s dwelling is with the human race.” God is involved with the diverse things of the world. The Christian life is not simply about the next world. God is concerned with our daily life and our relationships. God is concerned with the works of justice and peace – with the work of social transformation and liberation for all men and women.
In the gospel, we are reminded that the glory of God appears even as Jesus is about to be betrayed. In Acts, we see the glory of God appearing again and again as Paul and Barnabas travel around and commend many communities to the power of God’s Spirit. God is involved in the complexity and struggle of life. There is something wonderfully maternal about the spirit of God. God is involved as a mother is involved with her children – and is with them in their success and failure – in their hopes and dreams and disappointments and struggles.
The opening paragraph of Vatican II’s Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et Spes, puts it very well:
The joys and hopes, the grief and anguish of the people of our time, especially of those who are poor or afflicted, are the joys and hopes, the grief and anguish of the followers of Christ as well. Nothing that is genuinely human fails to find an echo in their hearts. For theirs is a community of people united in Christ and guided by the Holy Spirit in their pilgrimage towards the Father's kingdom, bearers of a message of salvation for all of humanity. That is why they cherish a feeling of deep solidarity with the human race and its history.
Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group
The Book of Revelation proclaims: “God’s dwelling is with the human race.”
How have you experienced God in your local community?
How is God calling to you (us) in the experiences of our communities?
How is God calling to you (us) in the struggles of our communities?
Jesus says “This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
How have you experienced this love in your local community?
How have you experienced this love in the global Christian community?
One day God got tired of people. They were always pestering him, asking for things. So he said, “I’m going away to hide for a while.” So he gathered all his advisers and said, “Where should I hide? Where’s the best place for me to hide?” Some said, “Hide on the highest mountain peak on earth.” Others said, “No, hide at the bottom of the sea; they’d never find you there.” Others, “Hide on the other side of the moon; that’s the best place. How are they going to find you there?” Then God turned to his most intelligent angel and asked him, “Where do you advise me to hide?” The intelligent angel smiled and said, “Go hide yourself in the human heart. That’s the only place where they never go.”
Actions - Links
Green America is an organization whose “mission is to harness economic power—the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace—to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society.” www.greenamerica.org
On their Take Action page you can send e-mails to speak up on important issues.
May 1 is International Worker’s Day and the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker. Read the recently released “Background on Protecting the Rights of Workers in a Globalized Economy” from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/labor-employment/upload/2013-02-Rights-of-Workers-Backgrounder.pdf
The world is only a few cases away from killing polio forever. Help make it happen by signing The End of Polio Petition calling on world leaders to finish the job by making funding commitments that will see a polio-free world.” Get information at:http://www.one.org/international/blog/the-world-is-only-a-few-cases-away-from-killing-polio-forever/ and sign the petition athttp://www.theendofpolio.com/home/
The Union of Concerned Scientists puts rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet's most pressing problems. Joining with citizens across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future. http://www.ucsusa.org/about/ Take action at http://www.ucsusa.org/action/
“The probability that a poor child in America will become a poor adult is higher now than it was 30 years ago, and higher in the United States than in the United Kingdom, which has a long history of class rigidity. Almost one out of four of the nation’s children is in now in poverty…”
- Robert Reich at http://robertreich.org/
Prayers of Intercession
Response: God, fill us with hope and love as we engage in life.
For our children and for all the children of the world, that they may all share in the gifts and resources of the world, we pray….
For all the people of the world who live out their lives in places of war and constant violence, we pray….
For all the people and families of our world that do not have meaningful work with a living wage, we pray….
For all people who are confined in prisons, we pray….
For all people who are in hospitals or nursing homes, we pray….
For all who are struggling with the pain of mental illness, we pray….
For all the victims of the recent violence in Boston and many other places and for their families, we pray….
For all individuals who do not experience the love and support of community, we pray….
May humanity find in you, O Lord, the courage to oppose
in solidarity the many evils that afflict it.
In particular, may it find the strength to face the inhuman,
and unfortunately growing, phenomenon of terrorism,
which rejects life and brings anguish and uncertainty
to the daily lives of so many hard-working and peaceful people.
May your wisdom enlighten men and women of good will
in the required commitment against this scourge.
May the work of national and international institutions
hasten the overcoming of the present difficulties
and favor progress towards a more effective
and peaceful world order.
May world leaders be confirmed and sustained
In their efforts to resolve satisfactorily the continuing conflicts
that cause bloodshed in certain regions of Africa,
Iraq and the Holy Land.
You, firstborn of many brothers and sisters, grant that all
who consider themselves children of Abraham
may rediscover the unity that they share
and that prompts in them designs of cooperation and peace.
May the temptation to seek revenge
give way to the courage to forgive;
may the culture of life and love
render vain the logic of death;
may trust once more give breath to the lives of peoples.
- Urbi et Orbi Message of John Paul II
Easter Sunday, April 11, 2004