94. The rich and the poor have equal dignity, for “the Lord is the maker of them all” (Prov 22:2). “He himself made both small and great” (Wis 6:7), and “he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good” (Mt 5:45). This has practical consequences, such as those pointed out by the bishops of Paraguay: “Every campesino has a natural right to possess a reasonable allotment of land where he can establish his home, work for subsistence of his family and a secure life. This right must be guaranteed so that its exercise is not illusory but real. That means that apart from the ownership of property, rural people must have access to means of technical education, credit, insurance, and markets”.
Reflection: Most of us would agree that “the rich and the poor have equal dignity” but the rub is in the “practical consequences” of such a belief. In what ways are those who are poor in rural areas guaranteed access to means of technical education, credit, insurance, and markets? Read about the persistence of rural poverty here and here in light of LS’#94. Read about Canada’s efforts to address poverty among Indigenous peoples. Journal your prayer and reflection.
Action: View the just released film on Laudato Si’, “The Letter” available for individual viewing here. It is a beautifully produced film that makes these issues personal, including the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor. Share the link with others and discuss the film.
Spaces of Hope
Resurrection means that we too will live on to the extent that we live now; that is, to the extent that we focus our passion, loyalty, and care to family, friends, community, nation, to transcend ourselves in love. The magnitude of our relatedness is the breadth of our lives, and the degree to which we live on in the evolution of life. To live eternal life is to live in the now unconditionally and wholeheartedly, to lose ourselves for the sake of love. Ilia Delia, Making All Things New (2015) 84.
As we identify more deeply with Christ, the very pattern of his life becomes ours. We experience, as individuals and as community, now one aspect and now another of Christ’s paschal mystery, of his life, death, and resurrection. Moving toward the fullness of personhood in Christ, we become more integrated, freer to proclaim the good news. (You Are Sent 46)
Justice for Immigrants
Part of justice and dignity for immigrants is learning to embrace the rich and diverse cultures that immigrants bring. In this Hispanic Heritage month, take the time to look at the art and objects in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History Mexican America collection. Consider reading one of these books this month, all by Latinx and Hispanic authors. Share this with others who may not yet appreciate such diversity.
Ending Human Trafficking
Anti-Slavery Day marked for October 18, 2022 provides an opportunity to raise awareness of human trafficking and modern slavery in our society. It encourages government, local authorities, charities and individuals to reflect and address the problems of modern-day slavery.
Take time during the next week to keep the victims in your thoughts and your prayers and use your voice to speak for the voiceless.
To learn more about Anti-Slavery Day, read here.
Keep Kids Safe Online by supporting the Earn It Act – learn more about it and how to advocate for change. AMSSND are active participants in the US Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking (USCSAHT); learn more about their work here.
According to the ACLU, people of color have accounted for a disproportionate 43 % of total executions in the US since 1976 and 55 % of those currently awaiting execution. Dismantling racism requires conversion and action. Consider registering for “Conversations of Hope: Ending the Death Penalty with Sr. Helen Prejean” a free webinar on Zoom on Thursday, October 20, sponsored by the Catholic Mobilizing Network. (Sister Eileen Reilly, SSND, is on the staff of CMN.) Invite someone to watch it with you, even remotely, and discuss it together afterward.
COP27 will meet from November 6-18 in Egypt. Learn more about COP27 and the critical climate issues to be addressed. Add your voice to those of Catholics across the country by signing this letter to President Biden and the US delegation ahead of COP27, sponsored by the Laudato Si’ Action Platform and the Catholic Climate Covenant.
The Letter, A Message for Our Earth premiered in Rome on October 4th and is now available for individual viewing. This feature length film (1:21) is beautifully done, particularly powerful in how the issues of climate change are made visible through the lived experience of those most affected. Screenings can be held to promote Laudato Si’ and the film; for more information about screenings and the film click here.
Partnership with Haiti
The 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. May peace and justice be found in the spaces of hope our partnership provides.