Lectionary Reflections: Seventh Sunday of Easter [a] June 1, 2014

Engaging Faith | Tue, May 27, 2014

By John Bucki, S.J.
Source: Center of Concern

Seventh Sunday of Easter [a]

June 1, 2014   (In some parts of the world, June 1, 2014 is the Feast of the Ascension.)

Copyright @ 2014, Center of Concern


Acts 1:12-14

1 Peter 4:13-16

John 17:1-11a



June: World Refugee Awareness Month 

June: Torture Awareness Month:

June 2 through June 6; Refugee Advocacy Week:

June 4: International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression:

June 5: World Environment Day:

June 8: Pentecost



I ask everyone with political responsibility to remember two things: human dignity and the common good.

- Pope Francis @Pontifex May 1, 2014


…. recognition of the transcendent value of every man and woman favors conversion of heart, which then leads to a commitment to resist violence, terrorism and war, and to promote justice and peace.

- Benedict XVI, address at the UN, 18 April 2008


Our commitment to the Catholic social mission must be rooted in and strengthened by our spiritual lives. In our relationship with God we experience the conversion of heart that is necessary to truly love one another as God has loved us.

- US Bishops, Sharing Catholic Social Teaching: Challenges and Directions


Solidarity is not a feeling of vague compassion or shallow distress at the misfortunes of so many people, both near and far. On the contrary, it is a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good, that is to say, to the good of all and of each individual because we are all really responsible for all.

John Paul II


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


Creation is not some possession that we can lord over for our own pleasure; nor, even less, is it the property of only some people, the few: creation is a gift, it is the marvelous gift that God has given us, so that we will take care of it and harness it for the benefit of all, always with great respect and gratitude.

- Pope Francis, audience on May 21, 2014


Thoughts for your consideration

  • In the Acts of the Apostles, the early community “devoted themselves with one accord to prayer.”  
  • In the second reading, Peter reminds us of the ideal solidarity with Christ and with one another, even to the point of solidarity with the suffering of Christ.  
  • In the gospel, the high priestly prayer expresses Jesus’ great desire that the whole community be one, even as it is “in the world.”

In the complex global world of today, we are challenged to live with this same sense of unity with one another, this same commitment to the common good, this same solidarity with those who suffer or are in need.  In the midst of ethnic and political strife, we are invited to put into practice the “call to solidarity.”  In the midst of income and asset inequalities, we are called to share what we have. In the midst war, we are called to work for peace.  In the midst of injustice, we are called to discern the paths to justice for all. [After all Jesus prays for “eternal life to all.”]

The Christian vision challenges any rugged individualism that fails to consider how our actions affect others, any greed that creates an economic system that locks people into poverty while others are excessively wealthy, any set of ethical values that excludes others from their human and economic rights, and any violence that fails to respect the dignity of other people.

This Thursday, June 5, is World Environment Day.  We share a common concern for our planet.  We share a common space (the planet earth).  We share a finite set of resources.  We share a responsibility to care for and respect what we have been given.  We are called to share our gifts and use them responsibly.  

This month of June we are called to be aware of the needs of the millions of refugees in our world.  Our planet is to be a home for all people.  Hunger and homelessness cause millions people to struggle for what they need to live in dignity. Violence and economic problems force so many people to look for a new place of safety and economic justice. We are all one and we must discern how to make sure that all are welcomed to share the gifts of creation.


Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group

When have you experienced disunity and discord in the Christian community?  

When have you noticed a lack of solidarity or unity with those in need?  


How have you changed your practices to show a great care for our environment? 

How do you live your life differently in light of increasing challenge of climate change?



Sharing a Meal:

Nasrudin and a friend went to a restaurant to share a meal, but couldn’t decide on whether to order fish or goat. After much argument, the friend won the debate-they agreed to order fish, and informed the waiter of their choice.

Just moments later, the friend noticed a man outside stealing his donkey, and ran out to try and catch him. Nasrudin immediately got up with a very concerned look on his face. Another man saw this, and asked him, “Are you going to go file a theft report?”

“No!”  Nasrudin shouted back, “I am going to see if I can change our order before it is too late!”


Actions – Links

World Environment Day

June 5 is World Environment Day.  World Environment Day (WED) was established by the

UN General Assembly in 1972 to mark the opening of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment. Get info at:  - (Posters, a booklet, and other resources can be downloaded.)


Care of Creation

Pope Francis spoke of our moral obligation to care for creation in his audience of May 21.  Read his remarks at:



Refugee Advocacy Week is June 2 through June 6 this year.  Get info from the Jesuit Refugee Service at


Find the World Refugee Day Tool Kit at:

World Refugee Day will be observed on June 20



“Crazy Facts”

According to the recently released (May 6, 2014) National Climate Assessment, “U.S. average temperature has increased by 1.3°F to 1.9°F since 1895, and most of this increase has occurred since 1970. The most recent decade was the nation’s and the world’s hottest on record, and 2012 was the hottest year on record in the continental United States.”


Ten Indicators of a warming world according to the National Climate Assessment


Prayers of Intercession

Response:  Lord, help us to be one.

For an end to all the dozens of wars that divide our world, we pray….

For an end to the violence that shows up all over our world, we pray….

For an end to our abuse and overuse of the planet, we pray….

For a greater commitment to reduce our environmental footprint, we pray…..

For a strong commitment to the common good in how we live together, we pray….

For a compassionate and welcoming response to refugees and immigrants, we pray…

For the grace to listen to one another, we pray…

For the grace of reconciliation and understanding, we pray….

For Spirit to come and lead us on the road to peace and life, we pray….


Prayer and Meditation

Jesus, share with me your spirit of freedom.

Bless me with the freedom to be aware.

Aware of your presence everywhere.

Aware of your compassionate love for all the world and its creatures.

Aware of sin and injustice, of violence and oppression.

Aware of propaganda, racism, and all untruth.

Aware of the possibilities for a new heaven and a new earth.

Aware of the possibilities for an active nonviolence and a loving witness for justice.

Aware of the possibilities for relationship and joy.

Bless me with the freedom to act.

To act without fear.

To act out of a deep relationship in prayer.

To act for what is right and good.

To act for justice and peace.

To act in solidarity with others.

To act in solidarity with you.

Jesus, bless me with the freedom to be alive as a child of God.