Engaging Faith | Mon, Aug 8, 2016
Twentieth Sunday of Ordinary Time [c]
August 14, 2016
Jeremiah 38:4-6, 8-10
August 14: Feast of St. Maximilian Kolbe, priest and martyr
August 15: Feast of the Assumption of Mary
August 19: World Humanitarian Day
August 23: International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade & its Abolition
August 26: Women’s Equality Day in the United States (Commemorating the 1920 passage of the 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote)
When it comes to Jesus, we cannot sit around waiting with arms folded; he offers us life – we can’t respond by thinking about it or “texting” a few words!
-Pope Francis, WYD in Krakow, 31 July 2016
The day will come when, after harnessing space, the winds, the tides and gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, we shall have discovered fire.
-Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Toward the Future, XI, 86-87
True freedom, freedom worthy of the sons [and daughters] of God, is that freedom which most truly safeguards the dignity of the human person. It is stronger than any violence or injustice. Such is the freedom which has always been desired by the Church, and which she holds most dear. It is the sort of freedom which the Apostles resolutely claimed for themselves. The apologists defended it in their writings; thousands of martyrs consecrated it with their blood.
-Leo XIII, Libertas praestantissimum, 30
Sharing the experience of faith, bearing witness to the faith, proclaiming the Gospel: this is a command that the Lord entrusts to the whole Church, and that includes you; but it is a command that is born not from a desire for domination, from the desire for power, but from the force of love, from the fact that Jesus first came into our midst and did not give us just a part of himself, but he gave us the whole of himself, he gave his life in order to save us and to show us the love and mercy of God. Jesus does not treat us as slaves, but as people who are free, as friends, as brothers and sisters; and he not only sends us, he accompanies us, he is always beside us in our mission of love.
-Pope Francis, WYD in Brazil, 28 July 2013
This is no time for denouncing anyone or fighting. We do not want to tear down, we do not want to give insult. We have no desire to conquer hatred with more hatred, violence with more violence, terror with more terror. We are here today because the Lord has called us together. Our response to a world at war has a name: its name is fraternity, its name is brotherhood and sister hood, its name is communion, its name is family.
-Pope Francis, WYD in Krakow, 30 July 2016
Thoughts for Your Consideration
Good religion is about being on fire and about liberation.
It is about putting people on fire with life and love and service.
It is about setting people free to live in the spirit of Christ.
Religious faith should be something that is exciting and energizing.
It puts us on fire and sets us free.
It involves risks and sometimes even causes tension and division.
The message that Jeremiah proclaims is supported by some and attacked by others.
His own person is attacked by some and yet he is saved by others.
Some people throw him into the cistern; others get him out.
The message causes division and challenge.
The message of Jesus also causes division.
Not all are able to accept it – even within the same family.
We also may struggle with it and resist it from time to time.
Ultimately, it should lead us to freedom and life.
Ultimately, we should end up on fire even in the midst of opposition.
The message has power. It is worth the risk.
Good religion does not put people to sleep.
Rather, good religion wakes people up and helps them be on fire.
People become aware of life, aware of others, aware of God, aware of the poor, aware of injustice, aware of the problems, aware of the possibilities, aware of a new vision.
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.
Copyright © 2016, Center of Concern.