Engaging Faith | Thu, Apr 13, 2017
Second Sunday of Easter [a]
April 23, 2017
1 Peter 1:3-9
April 22: Earth Day
April 22: March for Science
April 23: Divine Mercy Sunday
April 25: World Malaria Day
April 28: National Arbor Day (last Friday in April)
April 29: Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare
We may all be tempted by the disbelief of Thomas. Suffering, evil, injustice, death, especially when it strikes the innocent such as children who are victims of war and terrorism, of sickness and hunger, does not all of this put our faith to the test? Paradoxically the disbelief of Thomas is most valuable to us in these cases because it helps to purify all false concepts of God and leads us to discover his true face: the face of a God who, in Christ, has taken upon himself the wounds of injured humanity.
— Benedict XVI, Urbi et Orbi Message, Easter 2007
The solidarity which binds all people together as members of a common family makes it impossible for wealthy nations to look with indifference upon the hunger, misery and poverty of other nations whose citizens are unable to enjoy even elementary human rights. The nations of the world are becoming more and more dependent on one another and it will not be possible to preserve a lasting peace so long as glaring economic and social imbalances persist.
— John XXIII, Mater Et Magistra, 157
Jesus does not exclude anyone. Some of you, perhaps, might say to me: But, Father, I am certainly excluded because I am a great sinner: I have done terrible things, I have done lots of them in my life. No, you are not excluded! Precisely for this reason you are the favorite, because Jesus prefers sinners, always, in order to forgive them, to love them. Jesus is waiting for you to embrace you, to pardon you. Do not be afraid.
— Pope Francis, Angelus, 25 August 2013
The Church needs your compassion, especially at this time of pain and suffering for so many countries throughout the world. Let us together express our spiritual closeness to the ecclesial communities and to all Christians suffering from discrimination and persecution. We must fight every form of discrimination.
— Pope Francis, 22 February 2014
We are called to be instruments of God, so that our planet might be what God desired when God created it and correspond with God’s plan for peace, beauty and fullness.
— Pope Francis, Laudato Si, 53
Thoughts for Your Consideration
The first reading from Acts reminds us of the commitment by the early Christian community to the communal life. They shared whatever they had and held all their possessions in common. They responded to the needs of all, especially the poor. We might think of applying this on the “micro level” to our personal lives and to our local communities. However, it might be even more fruitful to apply this on the “macro level” – to the level of nations and international institutions. Such an application might challenge us to look at issues of global development, international trade, global climate change, agriculture policy, worker’s rights, immigration, and educational opportunity in a new, challenging, and creative way.
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://www.coc.org/EFJ-New.
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