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Second Sunday in Lent [B], March 12, 2006

By: John Bucki, S.J.

Readings
Genesis 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18
Romans 8:31b-34
Mark 9:2-10

There is a growing awareness of the sublime dignity of human persons, who stand above all things and whose rights and duties are universal and inviolable. They ought, therefore, to have ready access to all that is necessary for living a genuinely human life: for example, food, clothing, housing ... the right to education, and work...
--Vatican II, The Church and the Modern World, #26

 

Readings
Genesis 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18
Romans 8:31b-34
Mark 9:2-10

 

Calendar
March 16: Freedom of Information Day

March 17: Feast of Saint Patrick
March 19: Feast of Saint Joseph
March 20: Anniversary of the start of the War in Iraq

 

Quotes

There is a growing awareness of the sublime dignity of human persons, who stand above all things and whose rights and duties are universal and inviolable. They ought, therefore, to have ready access to all that is necessary for living a genuinely human life: for example, food, clothing, housing ... the right to education, and work...
--Vatican II, The Church and the Modern World, #26


Our goal should not be the benefit of a privileged few, but rather the improvement of the living conditions of all.
--John Paul II, Message of Lent 2003


The fundamental starting point for all of Catholic social teaching is the defense of human life and dignity: every human person is created in the image and likeness of God and has an inviolable dignity, value, and worth, regardless of race, gender, class, or other human characteristics.
--U.S. Catholic Bishops, Responsibility, Rehabilitation, and Restoration: A Catholic Perspective on Crime and Criminal Justice

 

The glory of God is a human person fully alive. A human person fully alive is the glory of God.
--Saint Irenaeus


Thoughts for Your Consideration

The gospel story of the transfiguration is about seeing in a new way. In the midst of our complex contemporary world, the gospel invites us to be free enough to see things in a new way. In the midst of war and violence, the gospel invites us to see the presence of God and God's invitation to peace. In the midst of poverty and injustice, the gospel invites us to hear God's invitation to respect the dignity of every human person and the need for justice for all.

 

Abraham learned to hear God's desires in a new way; he came to see that God did not want the death of his son. Maybe, in some analogous way, we have been learning to understand the social implications of the gospel. Maybe we have been learning the same thing, as we have been learning to challenge war as the solution to disputes and to question the policies of our nations. Maybe we have been learning the same thing, as our church is beginning to move away from support for the death penalty. Maybe we have been learning the same thing as we have been learning to speak up for justice for all those who are oppressed in any way. Maybe we have come to see that war and injustice, poverty and hunger, do not have to be.

 

The Transfiguration is a sign of great hope. It is possible to see the presence of God in Jesus. It is possible to see things in a new way. It is possible to see God in others. It is possible to let go of racism, to let go of an addiction to money, to let go of power and control, to let go of violence, to let go of inaction, to let go of our blindness and selfishness. It is possible to solve international problems without war. It is even possible to let go of the religious experience on the mountain and come down and find God in all things and all people. It is possible to see the world as a global community and to see all people as our brothers and sisters.

 

Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group

  • How has your awareness and commitment to Christian values changed over the years?
  • How have you grown in your commitment to social issues?
  • To issues of peace and justice?

 

Actions -- Links

Catholic Relief Services has been asking people to urge their Senators to "Support Real Solutions to the Challenge of Migration." To take action, click here.

 

This year will mark the 20th anniversary of the Bishops economic pastoral, Economic Justice for All. Ten years later, the Bishops published: The a Decade after Economic Justice for All: Continuing Principles, Changing Context, New Challenges. The following is an excerpt from Economic Justice for All:

Changes in our hearts lead naturally to a desire to change how we act. With what care, human kindness, and justice do I conduct myself at work? How will my economic decisions to buy, sell, invest, divest, hire, or fire serve human dignity and the common good? In what career can I best exercise my talents so as to fill the world with the Spirit of Christ? How do my economic choices contribute to the strength of my family and community, to the values of my children, to sensitivity to those in need? In this consumer society, how can I develop a healthy detachment from things and avoid the temptation to assess who I am by what I have? How do I strike a balance between labor and leisure that enlarges my capacity for friendships, for family life, for community? What government policies should I support to attain the well-being of all, especially the poor and vulnerable?


The answers to such questions are not always clear -- or easy to live out. But, conversion is a lifelong process. And, it is not undertaken alone. It occurs with the support of the whole believing community, through baptism, common prayer, and our daily efforts, large and small, on behalf of justice. As a Church, we must be people after God's own heart, bonded by the Spirit, sustaining one another in love, setting our hearts on God's kingdom, committing ourselves to solidarity with those who suffer, working for peace and justice, acting as a sign of Christ's love and justice in the world.


Economic Justice for All, #s 23, 24


Prayer - Meditation


God, help me to see.
God, help me to see your wonders.
God, help me to see your goodness all around me.

God, help me to be fearless.
God, help me to be fearless in my seeing.
God, help me to be fearless in seeing whatever is there.

God, help me to see the dignity and wonder of my sisters and brothers.
God, help me to see the dignity and wonder of people as they are.
God, help me to see the dignity and wonder even when I am overwhelmed by my judgments.

God, help me to be part of the world.
God, help me to be part of the world in its beauty and goodness.
God, help me to be part of the world in its diversity and mystery.

God, give me the courage to look at the sin of the world.
God, give me the courage to look at the sin of the world with a loving heart.
God, give me the courage to look at the sin of the world with a forgiving spirit.

God, heal our violence, racism, sexism, militarism, greed, and pride.
God, heal our culture, our nation, our rivalry, our jealousy.
God, heal our political institutions, our government, our political parties, and our religions.

God, heal our limited perspective and open our eyes wide.
God, heal our parochial plans and let our vision include the whole world.
God, heal our tiny projects and make them projects for the big world.

God, make us new.
God, make our institutions new.
God, make all things new and renewed.

Amen.

Type of content: Lectionary Reflections