Engaging Faith | Thu, Nov 17, 2016
Thirty-Third Sunday of Ordinary Time [c]
November 13, 2016
2 Thessalonians 3:7-12
November 11: Veteran’s Day (Remembrance Day in Canada)
November 15: America Recycles Day
November 16: Anniversary of the murders of the six Jesuits and two women in El Salvador in 1989
November 16: International Day of Tolerance (http://bit.ly/2ew92jA)
How I would like a Church which is poor and for the poor!
— Pope Francis, 16 March 2013
May people learn to fight for justice without violence, renouncing class struggle in their internal disputes, and war in international ones.
— John Paul II, Centesimus Annus, 23
We must repeat that the superfluous goods of wealthier nations ought to be placed at the disposal of poorer nations. The rule, by virtue of which in times past those nearest us were to be helped in time of need, applies today to all the needy throughout the world. And the prospering peoples will be the first to benefit from this. Continuing avarice on their part will arouse the judgment of God and the wrath of the poor, with consequences no one can foresee. If prosperous nations continue to be jealous of their own advantage alone, they will jeopardize their highest values, sacrificing the pursuit of excellence to the acquisition of possessions. We might well apply to them the parable of the rich man. His fields yielded an abundant harvest and he did not know where to store it: "But God said to him, ‘Fool, this very night your soul will be demanded from you…’”
— Paul VI, Populorum Progressio, 49
The individual today is often suffocated between two poles represented by the State and the marketplace. At times it seems as though the individual exists only as a producer and consumer of goods, or as an object of State administration. People lose sight of the fact that life in society has neither the market nor the State as its final purpose.
— John Paul II, Centesimus Annus, 49
We are not God. The earth was here before us and it has been given to us. …. Each community can take from the bounty of the earth whatever it needs for subsistence, but it also has the duty to protect the earth and to ensure its fruitfulness for coming generations.
— Pope Francis, Laudato Si, 67
Let us abandon a language of condemnation and embrace one of mercy.
— Pope Francis, 29 October 2016
Thoughts for Your Consideration
It seems that the United States election has been going on forever. It seems that we have been experiencing all kinds of difficulties and confusion and uncertainty. It seems that the tensions may continue even as the results are finalized. Citizens continue to be divided.
Difficulty, opposition, confusion, mess, uncertainty, and ambiguity are all part of life. Good religion does not guarantee that this will not sometimes be the case. Good religion does not remove all of the mess of life. However, today God says through the prophet Malacchi, “… for you who fear my name, there will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays.” Jesus says, “by your perseverance you will secure your lives." In the challenges of our life, we can find God and God will lead us to what is right and just. In the challenges of society, we can find God and God will lead us to what is right and just.
With this vision of hope, we can challenge many of the voices of our culture – the voices of consumerism and materialism – the voices calling for control and domination of others – the voices that call for more violence or military power – the voices of policies that refuse to consider the needs of the poor -- the voices of discrimination and fear of different people – the voices that justify torture as a policy – the voices of racism and discrimination – the voices that fill us with fear and prevent us from doing the good we want to do – and even the voices of hatred and violence.
We are invited to work for justice, even when it challenges the value system of our world or culture. We are invited to overcome evil by love, war by peace, and selfishness by selfless giving.
To read the rest of this reflection from John Bucki, S.J., as well as his reflection questions, faith in action links, prayers of intercession, and prayer meditations, become a member of Education for Justice: http://bit.ly/1Ezao3d.
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