Engaging Faith | Mon, Sep 30, 2013
Twenty-Seventh Sunday of Ordinary Time [c] October 6, 2013
Habakkuk 1:2-3; 2:2-4
2 Timothy 1:6-8, 13-14
Oct. 4: Feast of St, Francis of Assisi
Oct. 6: Respect Life Sunday
Oct. 7: World Habitat Day-http://www.habitat.org/getinv/events/whd/2013
Oct. 14: Columbus Day in the United States
Oct. 14: Thanksgiving Day in Canada
“… the vision still has its time, presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint.”
“It is to be hoped that hatred and violence will not triumph in people's hearts, especially among those who are struggling for justice, and that all people will grow in the spirit of peace and forgiveness.”
Pope John Paul II, Centesimus Annus
“The Church … has always taught and continues today to teach a very simple axiom: peace is possible. Indeed, the Church does not tire of repeating that peace is a duty. It must be built on the four pillars indicated by Blessed John XXIII in his Encyclical Pacem in Terris: truth, justice, love and freedom. A duty is thus imposed upon all those who love peace: that of teaching these ideals to new generations, in order to prepare a better future for all mankind.”
Pope John Paul II, Jan. 1, 2004
“Where would we be today if certain women, men, young people, and also children had not arisen at moments when the human family seemed destined for the worst? They did not say: "Let things take their course!" Beyond the confrontations between persons, peoples, and spiritual families, they prepared a way of trusting. Their lives bear witness to the fact that human beings have not been created for hopelessness.”
Brother Roger of Taize
“The search for peace is long and demands patience and perseverance! Let us keep praying for this!”
Pope Francis, Sept. 8, 2013
“… all humanity, made in the image and likeness of God, is one family, in which relationships are marked by a true fraternity not only in words: the other person is a brother or sister to love, and our relationship with God, who is love, fidelity and goodness, mirrors every human relationship and brings harmony to the whole of creation. God’s world is a world where everyone feels responsible for the other, for the good of the other.”
Pope Francis, Sept. 7, 2013
Thoughts for your consideration
The readings for this Sunday speak of the wonderful, positive power of faith amid all kinds of problems and challenges.
•Habakkuk writes: “… the vision still has its time, presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint.”
•Paul speaks of a “rich trust that dwells within us.”
•Jesus says that if you have faith “the size of a mustard seed,” you can move a mountain.
The violence, of which Habakkuk speaks, has been made real in our generation in wars and acts of terrorism, in situations of genocide, in domestic violence, and in all sorts of disputes. The war, the bombings, the ethnic clashes, and foreign interference continue in in Iraq, in Kenya, in Afghanistan, in Pakistan, in the Congo, in so many places. Endless ethnic and economic fighting continues in many places in Africa. Wealthy nations and corporations continue to exploit and control. Extreme poverty continues in various nations of the world. Although officially over, the recession drags on and economic inequality increases dramatically. Ideological disputes continue in U.S. politics, making Congress ineffective. Personal attacks are part of public discourse. We can easily feel discouraged. We can easily be disgusted with everything in our public life.
Violence is not new. It appears again and again throughout human history. Violence takes place in countless large and small acts of terrorism and war, takes place in our cities and streets, takes place in the developing world and in developed nations, takes place in the injustice in our economic and social relationships, and even sometimes takes place in our homes and domestic relationships.
The scriptures today remind us that God has an alternate vision of how life is to be lived. The “mountain” can be moved. There is alternative to violence and discord. Active nonviolence and peace is possible. Habakkuk writes “… the vision still has its time, presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint.” God calls us all to live in peace and justice.
The scriptures today remind us that we can only address this violence if we know ourselves and our limits. Without self-knowledge, we are destined to repeat the mistakes that cause violence. We are “servants.” We need that increase in faith that can only come from God. We are not in charge of everything. We don’t have to be in charge of everything. We don’t have to use force. We don’t have to be more than we are. [“When you have done all you have been commanded, say, 'We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.'"] With this sort of realism and humility, we will have the wisdom to talk to one another, to avoid violence, and bless the world with Christ’s gift of peace and justice.
Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group
When have you found yourself crying out to God in anger because of some injustice or violence? How did you get the strength to go on with life?
Habakkuk writes “… the vision still has its time, presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint.”
How does this hope show up in your life? In your world?
A man must always greet his fellow man.
Actions – Links
Justice for Immigrants
Send an e-postcard to your congressional representatives asking that they pass immigration reform (or print the postcards to mail to your lawmakers) at: http://www.justiceforimmigrants.org/
Encourage President Obama to stand up for the environment and say "no" to drilling in America’s Arctic at: https://secure.sierraclub.org/site/Advocacy;jsessionid=456F0DEB5A3AF7372...
In the more than 90 days since the U.S. Senate passed their immigration reform bill, more than 100,000 people have been deported. http://thecostofinaction.com/ Send an e-postcard to your congressional representatives asking that they pass immigration reform at:
Prayers of Intercession
Response: Lord, lead us on the road to peace.
For an end to all our wars, we pray….
For an end to all our spending on weapons and preparation for war, we pray….
For an end to all ethnic violence, terrorism, and genocide, we pray….
For an end to all psychological violence and manipulation, we pray….
For an end to domestic violence and for a richer peace in our homes and relationships, we pray….
For an end to all violence against women, we pray….
For an end to all dishonest and violent political discourse, and the beginning of deeper dialogue and collaboration, we pray…..
For a profound and active respect for life, we pray….
In the midst of conflict and division
We know it is you who turns our minds to thoughts of peace.
Your Spirit changes our hearts:
Enemies begin to speak to one another,
Those who were estranged join hands in friendship
And nations seek the way of peace together.
Let Your Spirit be at work in us.
Give us understanding and put an end to strife,
Fill us with mercy and overcome our denial.
Grant us wisdom and teach us to learn from the people of the land.
Call us to justice.
Adapted from the Preface of the Eucharistic Prayer for Masses of Reconciliation II
by the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council
For images depicting the scriptural call to beat swords into plowshares, go to: