Dare to Care - November 11th 2022

Laudato Si' Quote of the Week: #98

Jesus lived in full harmony with creation, and others were amazed: “What sort of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?” (Mt 8:27). His appearance was not that of an ascetic set apart from the world, nor of an enemy to the pleasant things of life. Of himself he said: “The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard!’” (Mt 11:19). He was far removed from philosophies which despised the body, matter and the things of the world. Such unhealthy dualisms, nonetheless, left a mark on certain Christian thinkers in the course of history and disfigured the Gospel. Jesus worked with his hands, in daily contact with the matter created by God, to which he gave form by his craftsmanship. It is striking that most of his life was dedicated to this task in a simple life which awakened no admiration at all: “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary?” (Mk 6:3). In this way he sanctified human labour and endowed it with a special significance for our development. As Saint John Paul II taught, “by enduring the toil of work in union with Christ crucified for us, man in a way collaborates with the Son of God for the redemption of humanity”.

Reflection: Reflect on this idea that “Jesus worked with his hands, in daily contact with the matter created by God, to which he gave form by his craftsmanship.” How separated are you from working with your hands in creation? When was the last time you spent time in a garden, or prepared a meal with fresh ingredients, or cleaned, or used your hands to give form “with the matter created by God”? Journal on your reflections and share with another.

Action: Spend time this week working with your hands – make a pot of soup and share it with neighbors, or rake leaves, or clean up your garden, or paint something, or clean – aware of the work of your hands for the sake of others. Think of the Eucharistic prayer: “fruit of the earth and fruit of the vine, work of human hands, will become for us the bread of life and our spiritual drink.”

Spaces of Hope

“Jesus’s “Do this in memory of me” are words of entanglement, saying that my life affects your life and your life affects my life—we are mutually and reciprocally related. By celebrating the sacrament of the Eucharist we are not simply saying thank you to God, as if saying, “how nice of you to remember me.” Eucharist means being an active participant in the cosmic body of Christ, a body evolving unto fullness, the cosmic Person, through the rise of consciousness and unity in love.” Ilia Delio, OSF, Making All Things New, 2015 (86-87)        
Eucharist urges us to lay down our lives so that deeper communion among ourselves and among all humanity be realized. In Jesus’ gift of his life to the Father for all of us, we experience and are called to radical discipleship in word and action. In memory of Jesus and following his example, we are impelled to extend Eucharist into our daily lives, giving ourselves totally for others, gratefully receiving from them. (You Are Sent 34)

Justice for Immigrants

We need comprehensive immigration reform. Even those who are receiving somewhat favorable status have no guarantee for what their status will be in the coming days, as evidenced by the changes in policy for Venezuelan migrants. Read this New York Times article about the tens of thousands of Venezuelan migrants who find themselves in limbo at the US border.

Ending Human Trafficking

Read this month’s newsletter from the US Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking on sex trafficking throughout the world. Share it with others. USCSAHT supports the decriminalization of sex workers; read more about what that means and why they support it here. The fuller explanation is also in the USCSAHT newsletter.

Dismantling Racism

Be challenged, be inspired, be changed by remembering all that Sr. Thea Bowman(link is external), FSPA was in life and continues to be in the cloud of witnesses. Watch the new one hour documentary about her life, “Going Home Like A Shooting Star: Thea Bowman’s Journey to Sainthood”(link is external). Watch and remember her incredible encounter(link is external) with the US Bishops in 1989; how have we been moved to change -  personally, as a congregation, as a Church since then, 33 years later?

Climate Change

The Nature Conservancy(link is external) suggests that these are some of the topics expected to be discussed at COP27 in Egypt (November 6-18): adapting to climate change, loss and damage funds, hope for limiting global warming to 1.5 °C. Learn more here( about COP27. Here’s a great video explaining Climate Adaptation.

Eliminating the use of Single-Use plastics is something EVERYONE could and should be working on. Watch this video from The Story of Stuff Project on a vending machine that refills plastic containers. Share this series from the Story of Stuff about “Solving Plastics” – watch it with others and share it with others. Keep track of the packaging and single use plastics in your life this week, and then do something about eliminating them from your life.

Haiti Partnership

Consider learning more about this action(link is external) on behalf of the Haitian people and what it represents in terms of US policies towards Haiti(link is external). Beyond Borders, our partner in the work in Haiti, was a sponsor of the action.  SSND partnership between the AMSSND and Beyond Borders in Haiti represents a deep commitment to justice for the people of Haiti. Please continue to pray for the people of Haiti and staff members of Beyond Borders who are in Haiti. Commit to continue learning about the current situation in Haiti(link is external). Commit to learning the long US/Haiti history(link is external) that influences the current time as well. May peace and justice be found in the spaces of hope our partnership provides.

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