Engaging Faith | Thu, Apr 17, 2014
April 20, 2014
Copyright @ 2014, Center of Concern
Acts 10:34a, 37-43
Colossians 9 3:1-4 or 1 Corinthians 5:6b-8
John 20:1-9 or Mark 16:1-7 or Luke 24:13-35
April 20: Easter Sunday
April 22: Earth Day - http://www.earthday.org
April 23: Administrative Professionals/Secretaries Day
April 25: World Malaria Day
“Genuine progress does not consist in wealth sought for personal comfort or for its own sake; rather it consists in an economic order designed for the welfare of the human person, where the daily bread that each person receives reflects the glow of human love and the helping hand of God.”
- Pope Paul VI, “Populorum Progressio”
“The power of the Spirit, who raised Christ from the dead, is continuously at work in the world. Through the generous sons and daughters of the Church likewise, the People of God is present in the midst of the poor and of those who suffer oppression and persecution; it lives in its own flesh and its own heart the Passion of Christ and bears witness to his resurrection.”
- Synod of Bishops, “Justice in the World,” No. 74
“By immersing ourselves into the death and resurrection of Christ through the Sacrament of Baptism, we are moved to free our hearts every day from the burden of material things, from a self-centered relationship with the ‘world’ that impoverishes us and prevents us from being available and open to God and our neighbor.”
- Pope Benedict XVI, “Message for Lent 2011,” No. 3
“Francis of Assisi tells us we should work to build peace. But there is no true peace without truth! There cannot be true peace if everyone is his own criterion, if everyone can always claim exclusively his own rights, without at the same time caring for the good of others, of everyone, on the basis of the nature that unites every human being on this earth.”
- Pope Francis, March 22, 2013
“Being with Jesus demands that we go out from ourselves, and from living a tired and habitual faith.”
- Pope Francis, March 27, 2013
Thoughts for your consideration
An understanding of resurrection that does not address issues of justice is shallow and not consistent with the spirit of Jesus who lived, died, and rose to bring an end to all oppression and injustice. To use the words of Pope Francis Christ calls us “…to build bridges connecting all people, in such a way that everyone can see in the other not an enemy, not a rival, but a brother or sister to be welcomed and embraced!”
The data of Good Friday is not complete.
Another way of looking at things is possible.
The reality is different than first expected.
The death of Jesus is not the last word or the end of the story.
Resurrection is the ultimate word of God about life and death.
In a world with lots of death, we are called to share Resurrection today.
Today’s letter to the Corinthians reminds us that something new is possible: “Let us celebrate the feast, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” In the midst of awesome human problems, great social sins, all kinds of violence, extreme economic inequalities, destruction to our planet, and serious injustices of all kinds, we believe something more is possible. We affirm life. We believe that resurrection is possible.
Change is possible. Growth is possible. Peace and reconciliation are possible. Something new is possible. Healing of relationships is possible. Liberation for the poor and oppressed is possible. Social change is possible. Nations can work together for justice and peace. People can stand up and demand human rights. Society can provide health care for all. There is enough food so that everyone can eat if we only learn how to distribute it. All our children can have access to a good education. All people can have meaningful employment. We can live in a way that does not destroy the planet. We can work to end war and violence. We can live in solidarity.
Our world knows the tragedy of division and hatred between peoples and nations. Our world knows the scandal of poverty and economic injustice. Today large parts of our world still struggle with the effects of a serious recession. We live in a world where the system is structured to increase economic inequalities between people. Meanwhile, the developing world has been dealing with an ongoing recession for a long time. More than ever the world needs to experience resurrection.
More than ever we need a spirit that will help and heal the death, violence, and injustice of the world. More than ever we need to create a world where people are not oppressed by sinful structures. Peter in Acts reminds us that Jesus “… went about doing good and healing all those oppressed.” We are called to do the same.
An understanding of resurrection which does not address issues of justice is shallow and not consistent with the spirit of Jesus who lived, died, and rose to bring an end to all oppression and injustice.
Pope Francis asked us on Palm Sunday: “Who am I? Who am I, before my Lord? Who am I, before Jesus who enters Jerusalem amid the enthusiasm of the crowd? Am I ready to express my joy, to praise him? Or do I stand back? Who am I, before the suffering Jesus?”
Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group
In today’s letter to the Corinthians we read: “Let us celebrate the feast, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” Name the malice and wickedness you see around us. Name the places of sincerity and truth.
Pope Francis’ homily on Palm Sunday was a series of questions about “Who am I?” (You can find it at http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/homilies/2014/documents/papa-f...
After Holy Week and reflection on the passion story, which person do you identify with? On this Easter Sunday, who are you called to be?
“Why is everyone here so happy except me?” asked the disciple.
“Because they have learned to see beauty and goodness everywhere,” said the master.
“Why don’t I see beauty and goodness everywhere?”
The master replied: “because you cannot see outside of you, what you fail to see inside of you.”
On average, one in eight people go to bed hungry each night.
See the 2013 Hunger Map at:
The World Food Program reports “From Africa and Asia to Latin America and the Near East, there are 842 million people in the world who do not get enough food to lead a normal, active life.” http://www.wfp.org/hunger/downloadmap
Actions – Links
Catholics Confront Global Poverty
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Catholic Relief Services call on Catholics in the United States to confront global poverty. Advocate with us to end hunger, disease, conflict, and other issues that affect the lives of our brothers and sisters worldwide.
Get more info at http://www.confrontglobalpoverty.org
The Poverty Line
The Poverty Line is a project examining what it means to be poor in different countries.
In This Together
In This Together is a project of Faith in Public Life and supported by the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, the Franciscan Action Network, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach, Conference for Mercy Higher Education, Catholic Scholars for Worker Justice, NETWORK: A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, and many others. Check out its site at http://www.inthistogether.org/
April 22 is Earth Day
USCCB's Environmental Justice Program calls Catholics to a deeper respect for God’s creation and engages parishes in activities that deal with environmental problems, particularly as they affect the poor.
Also check out http://catholicclimatecovenant.org
Prayers of Intersession
Response: Risen Jesus, lead us to new life.
For an end to the death and suffering that follows from our wars and fighting, we pray…
For an end to the death and suffering that follows from poverty and economic injustice, we pray…
For an end to all our policies and practices that do not respect life, we pray…
For an end to all the distortions caused in our economic system that are caused by human greed, we pray…
For a new spirit of care and respect for every human person, we pray…
For a new spirit of joyful acceptance of our diversity, we pray…
For a new era without war and the preparations for war, we pray…
For a renewed human community, healed of all divisions, we pray…
Lord Jesus, our Peace,
Word made flesh two thousand years ago,
who by rising from the dead has conquered evil and sin,
grant the human family of the third millennium
a just and lasting peace.
Bring to a happy outcome the talks undertaken
by people of good will who,
despite so many doubts and difficulties,
are trying to bring an end to the troubling conflicts in Africa,
the armed clashes in some countries of Latin America,
the persistent tensions affecting
the Middle East, vast areas of Asia,
and some parts of Europe.
Help the nations to overcome old and new rivalries,
by rejecting attitudes of racism and xenophobia.
May the whole of creation,
inundated by the splendor of the Resurrection,
rejoice because “the brightness of the eternal One
has vanquished the darkness of the world.”
Urbi et Orbi message of Pope John Paul II, April 23, 2000
God's Grandeur by Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J.
The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed.Why do men then now not wreck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
is now bare, nor can foot feel, being shod.
And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs -
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.