Do Black Lives Matter? Relearning American History

By Sr. Margaret Magee, OSF

Sr. Margaret Magee is a member of FAN’s Board of Directors. The following is her contribution to a series of reflections submitted by Sisters in conjunction with St. Bonaventure University/BonaResponds Brothers and Sisters to All project.


How do we remain attentive to the ongoing need for racial justice and continue to educate ourselves and work to change our cultural attitudes of white privilege? The protests sparked by police violence have died down. The voices crying out that Black Lives Matter have become quiet. This happens too often. The outrage and cries of racial disparity become dimmed until the next painful injury or death. Are we addressing the painful silence of oppression and the collective memories that continue to hold a large portion of our American citizens in fear of racial stereotyping which leads to unjust treatment and death, as well as in conditions of poverty?

Yes, too often after violence periods everything calms down and life seems to return to “normal”. However, more and more there is a growing awareness that change must come. We must hear the voices that history has silenced. We must hear the stories of people enslaved, oppressed and made subservient in a country that proclaimed and still proclaims freedom, liberty and justice for all. If we refuse to hear these voices we become deaf and blind to the other forms of slavery, oppression, inequity and the abuse of human trafficking that continues today.

“Today, as in the past, slavery is rooted in a notion of the human person that allows him or her to be treated as an object… Whether by coercion, or deception, or by physical or psychological duress, human persons created in the image and likeness of God are deprived of their freedom, sold and reduced to being the property of others.” (Fratelli Tutti, 24)

Some months ago, CBS 60 Minutes aired a segment on the Clotilda Slave Ship which brought hundreds of enslaved Africans, human beings to be sold as merchandise and subjected to inhumane treatment. Let us listen and learn of the untold stories of American oppression and racism. Let our listening move us to work for an end to the injustice of racism and proclaim liberty and justice for all!

Published in: on January 21, 2021 at 10:30 am  Leave a Comment  

The Listening Lifestyle

Reflection for the 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time by FAN Intern and Holy Name Province Postulant, Domingo Martinez

This reflection was originally posted in our January 18th newsletter


Our readings this week show that God calls us all to listen and come together, especially in turbulent times. Jonah, a foreigner, worked to bring the people of Nineveh together to save their city. St. Paul addressed not just the church of Corinth, but all churches to prepare for a better world. Of course, the disciples had to listen to Jesus in order to form a community for all of us.

The people of the great city of Nineveh had no reason to listen to a strange man from a distant land. But they heard Jonah and believed in God. Rather than suffer, they changed their ways. God spared them because the whole city heard Jonah and changed their ways. Who can we hear and how can we change our own ways?

When St. Paul wrote to fellow Christians, he addressed the local congregation, not just the local leader. He lays out clearly the importance of hoping in the Lord, especially in times of trouble, and in living as though we live in the new world to come.

Despite the love of our family, the sorrows we confront, the joy we experience, the objects we own, or the missed opportunities we regret, we should live knowing these things will pass. St. Paul tells not just the church of Corinth this, but all of us, the current world will pass, and God will come into our lives to fulfill them!

The first followers of Jesus, the first Christian community must have felt that fulfillment when they first listened. Jesus, out walking around the Sea of Galilee, sees some guys fishing and tending their nets, and tells them to come after Him. And they do!

Simon, Andrew, James and John. They all just stop their work and follow Jesus. Zebedee’s sons even leave their father and workers in the boat. Hearing Jesus, they just up and walk away! Imagine listening so intently we are inspired to walk off our jobs like that for the greater good.

Listening allows us to come together and change everything!

A popular prayer associated with St. Francis asks that we seek to comfort rather than be comforted, understand rather than be understood and to love rather than to be loved. I wholeheartedly believe we also should seek to listen rather than be listened to and that we invite rather than be invited.

Only through listening can we come together to address the challenges our society faces today. Especially in the US right now, with such divisions, it is even more important that we listen to each other.

Listening may entail the hard work of quieting ourselves in order to hear, and changing our own lives that we may join with others to come together and live in God’s peace.

Domingo Martinez
Postulant with Holy Name Province, OFM
Franciscan Action Network Intern

Published in: on January 19, 2021 at 10:28 am  Comments (1)  

Can We Hear God Through the Riotous Noise?

Reflection for the 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time by FAN Executive Director, Stephen Schneck, PhD.

This reflection was originally posted in our January 11th newsletter


My friends,

I live in Washington, DC, blocks from the White House and Capitol Hill. Last Wednesday, my streets were filled with rioting white nationalists and conspiracy theorists intent on an insurrection against the laws, the Constitution, and the democracy of the United States. It was one of the most shameful days in the history of our republic in recent memory.

Perhaps I can be forgiven, then, for not writing the usual reflection that this Newsletter customarily offers on the Lectionary readings for next Sunday. These are not ordinary days, even though Sunday marks the start of liturgical Ordinary Time.

Yet, the readings do still speak to us. The Gospel is from John, recounting the calling of apostles and disciples to stand up and to follow Christ. To follow the Lamb of God.

Likewise, the first reading is from First Samuel, recounting how the young Samuel, sleeping in the home of Eli, was awakened three times in the night by the voice of God calling him by name. Then came the response from Samuel, “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.” I wonder if we are now being called. I wonder if at this moment we should not be listening for what our Quaker friends describe as the “still, small voice” of God calling us, much like the call to the prophet Samuel.

Could it be that all of us are now called to wake up, like Samuel? Are we being called to awaken from our normal slumber and listen more intently for the still, small voice amidst the riotous noise of the moment? If so, to what are we called?

I’m reminded that the verb “to call” in Latin is vocare, which is also the root for our word “advocacy” (ad+vocare), a calling to attention and a calling to action. This is our work, our “vocation,” at Franciscan Action Network. Like vocations, we are surely not all called to the same work. However, like the disciples in the Gospel, we are all called to follow Jesus.

The question is – are we awake to the call? Are we attentive amidst the noise of these days to the still, small voice of God? Do we answer, “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening?” And, when we hear, do we stand up and bear prophetic witness, like Samuel? With the disciples and apostles, do we follow the Christ?

These have been extraordinary days here in Washington. Let’s pray that the voice of God is heard through the riotous noise.

Stephen Schneck, PhD.
FAN Executive Director

Published in: on January 12, 2021 at 10:30 am  Leave a Comment  

Reflections on Pope Francis’ 2021 World Day of Peace message

By Tony Magliano

Tony Magliano is an internationally syndicated Catholic social justice and peace columnist whose writings are published in print and/or posted online in various U.S. diocesan papers. His views do not necessarily reflect those of the Franciscan Action Network.


If ever there was a time to unleash the Catholic Church’s “secret weapon,” it’s now!

This nonviolent weapon if consistently used would have tremendous power to neutralize evil forces – which Pope Francis laments sadly continue to inflict grave harm even during this pandemic – like “nationalism, racism and xenophobia, and wars and conflicts that bring only death and destruction in their wake.”

In his Jan. 1, 2021 World Day of Peace message titled “A Culture of Care as a Path to Peace” (see: https://bit.ly/3bhkW1Z), Pope Francis writes “These and other events that marked humanity’s path this past year have taught us how important it is care for one another and creation in efforts to build a more fraternal society … a culture of care as a way to combat the culture of indifference, waste and confrontation so prevalent in our time.”

And the Holy Father explains that the foundation for a culture of care should be based on what is unfortunately known as the church’s best kept secret – that is, the social doctrine of the church or better known as Catholic social teaching (CST). This nonviolent powerful secret weapon of the Catholic Church needs to be discovered by every Catholic and zealously applied to the problems facing our sick and wounded world.

In “A Culture of Care as a Path to Peace,” Pope Francis writes that the Catholic Church’s social “doctrine is offered to all people of good will as a precious patrimony of principles, criteria and proposals that can serve as a ‘grammar’ of care: commitment to promoting the dignity of each human person, solidarity with the poor and vulnerable, the pursuit of the common good and concern for protection of creation.”

Francis reminds us that the Catholic social teaching principle of respect for the dignity of every human being insists that “Each human person is an end in himself or herself, and never simply a means to be valued only for his or her usefulness.” This all inclusive moral principle demands that everyone, regardless of her/his physical or mental condition, must be afforded the full range of protection and assistance deserving a human being made in the imagine and likeness of God. It underscores that truth of our faith that no human being is expendable – not the unborn, not the sick, not the elderly, not the homeless, not the migrant, not the poor, not those who are different, not the war-torn and not even the enemy.

In the Holy Father’s further explanation of how Catholic social teaching is a priceless tool to help build the culture of care he moves on to highlight other CST principles: care and protection of creation, the common good and solidarity.

Quoting St. Pope John Paul II, Francis writes that solidarity is a “firm and preserving determination to commit oneself to the common good; that is to say to the good of all and of each individual, because we are all really responsible for all.”

One important way you can help build the culture of care is to email your members of Congress urging that they provide no less than $20 billion for the next international funding bill to prevent and respond to COVID-19 around the world (please complete this form: https://bit.ly/3pRRTpI).

All of us together with Pope Francis can build “A Culture of Care as a Path to Peace.” But doing so requires a commitment to a new way of thinking, feeling, judging and acting – a new way as ancient as the ever fresh Gospel and its modern application as found in Catholic social teaching (see: https://www.crs.org/resource-center/CST-101 and https://bible.usccb.org/bible/luke/1).

Now that’s a new year’s resolution worth keeping!

Tony Magliano is an internationally syndicated Catholic social justice and peace columnist. He is available to speak at diocesan or parish gatherings. Tony can be reached at tmag6@comcast.net.

Published in: on January 9, 2021 at 10:30 am  Comments (1)  

Let Us Stir Up Hope

Reflection for the Baptism of the Lord by FAN Board Member, Sr. Margaret Magee, OSF

This reflection was originally posted in our January 4th newsletter


This Sunday we celebrate the feast of the Baptism of the Lord. Through the action of coming to the Jordan River to be baptized by John, Jesus humbly placed himself once again as one with us, not above us, and as being one with our humanity. He who is God and born without sin had no need to receive the baptism of repentance from John. Once again, we see Jesus empty himself in order to embrace the full will of God. “Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one with whom I am pleased, upon whom I have put my spirit; he shall bring forth justice to the nations…”

Jesus, in his ministry to proclaim the Kingdom of God, can be said to have “stirred up things.” He spoke out against the many injustices that he encountered as he traveled and taught. He stood with and healed persons who were rejected and alienated because they suffered from an illness or a disease. He showed compassion and mercy to those who were being persecuted by others, like the woman caught in adultery. Our baptismal call to proclaim the kingdom means to follow in the footsteps of Christ and to continue to stir things up.

In baptism, we are immersed, buried with Christ to arise a new creation, one with Christ in God. Sometimes I wonder if baptism is simply seen as the sacramental event that happened on a particular date, time and place as noted on our baptismal certificate. Is it simply a past event in our lives or are we living with an awareness that we are immersed in the presence of Christ? So often, like fish in the ocean, we who have entered the baptismal waters of Christ seem unaware of the divine life and love in which we are immersed.

Through living our baptism we are called to be hope and to bring about and be the justice of Christ in our world. Baptized in Christ we are called to be light, to open the eyes of those blinded by selfishness, greed and hatred, to bring out those held captive by the sin of racism and the oppression of others. May we truly know ourselves as beloved of God and walk in the Spirit of light and truth.

Pope Francis, in Fratelli Tutti, writes, “I invite everyone to renewed hope, for hope “speaks to us of something deeply rooted in every human heart, independently of our circumstances and historical conditioning. Hope speaks to us of a thirst, an aspiration, a longing for a life of fulfillment, a desire to achieve great things, things that fill our heart and lift our spirit to lofty realities like truth, goodness and beauty, justice and love… Hope is bold; it can look beyond personal convenience, the petty securities and compensations which limit our horizon, and it can open us up to grand ideals that make life more beautiful and worthwhile”. Let us continue, then, to advance along the paths of hope.” [55]

Sr. Margaret Magee, OSF
FAN Board Member

Published in: on January 5, 2021 at 10:30 am  Leave a Comment  

EPIPHANY and epiphanies

Reflection for the Feast of the Epiphany by FAN Associate Director, Sr. Marie Lucey, OSF

This reflection was originally posted in our December 28th newsletter


Epiphany, upper-case E, Manifestation of Jesus the Christ; treasured story of Magi (wise ones), a Star, journey from the East, Gifts offered to The Child, a warning obeyed. Each image holds an opportunity for deep reflection. But this year, when the vicious coronavirus snakes its way into our homes, our communities, our workplaces, and our parishes, my thoughts turn to lower-case epiphanies, defined by Merriam-Webster as moments of sudden revelation, intuitive grasp of reality, a revealing scene or moment. All of us have experienced such epiphanies in our lives, moments when we deeply felt the rightness of an action or decision, or when we had a new insight into an old truth.

What epiphanies have the frightening pandemic offered us? Perhaps a greater appreciation of families and friends with whom we are unable to gather in person. Perhaps an awakening to the beauties of Creation—winter sunsets, intricate designs of trees stripped bare of leaves, all that we more closely observe in walks in woods or parks or by lakes or on mountain trails. Maybe invitations to spend quiet time in prayer and reflection, which may lead to insights about the real first Christmas, not the sanitized, Hallmark version, but the scriptural story of exclusion, odorous animals, dirty shepherds, bloody birth—made both glorious and challenging by God’s gift of Emmanuel. Perhaps we have greater awareness of neighbors near and far who may need our generous assistance with food and shelter.

An epiphany that is needed by all of us is the realization that once we emerge from the menacing threat of this pandemic, we must not try to return to “normal.” Normal was a country of severe economic inequality, of racism woven into the cultural and institutional fibers of our nation. Normal was corporate power in the hands of a few and political indifference to “the cries of the poor.” It was ecological devastation for short term economic gain—and more. Once the biblical Magi realized that this particular star was different and unique, they acted; they set out on a journey that led them to the great Epiphany, the revelation of the Christ Child whom they worshipped and to whom they offered their gifts. May we act on pandemic epiphanies to assure that we do not return to “normal.” Warned in a dream, the Magi returned home “by another way.” May we have the wisdom to heed the warnings of a terrible virus in order to return to post-pandemic life determined to create “another way,” lighted by justice, peace, mercy, and compassion for ALL.

Sr. Marie Lucey, OSF
FAN Associate Director

Published in: on December 29, 2020 at 10:30 am  Leave a Comment  

Proclaim ‘good news of great joy’!

by Tony Magliano

Tony Magliano is an internationally syndicated Catholic social justice and peace columnist whose writings are published in print and/or posted online in various U.S. diocesan papers. His views do not necessarily reflect those of the Franciscan Action Network.


The commercialism of Christmas can easily tempt us to become spiritually sidetracked. A barrage of commercials tries to sell the illusion that buying more things will bring us joy. But some commercials get it right.

I remember fondly the heart-touching Christmas television commercials by Hallmark Cards. They had a wonderful knack for inspiring the best in us. And they always ended with Hallmark’s unforgettable slogan: “When you care enough to send the very best” (see: https://bit.ly/3mCBB1Z).

Two-thousand years ago, amidst crushing poverty, enslavement and brutal Roman military occupation the Jewish people waited for God to send the promised anointed messiah to come and free them from their bondage. But beyond all expectations and hopes, God did not send a warrior-messiah, instead “caring enough to send the very best” – almighty God came himself!

Let us never take this most awesome fact for granted. Instead, let us often reflect that in our lowliness – especially in our vulnerability to sin and certain death – God in his divine humility and selfless love took upon himself our human nature, entered our self-inflicted wounded world, and by his teachings, example, miracles, passion, death, resurrection and by the sending of the Spirit of Truth showed us the way out of sin and death into the Kingdom of God and everlasting life!

Now how can true believers not get excited about this? And how can we not evangelize – proclaim in word and deed – this “good news of great joy!” And yet, sad to say, we often find ourselves rather sheepish about this greatest news in human history.

The most important modern Catholic document on evangelization – the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi (“Evangelization in the Modern World”) penned by St. Pope Paul VI – just celebrated its 45th anniversary. Unfortunately, it wasn’t much of a celebration. In fact, many Catholics don’t even know of its existence.

But let’s turn that sad fact into a joyous proclamation. Let’s make what Pope Francis called “the greatest pastoral document written to date” a wonderful aid to our essential mission to live and share the Good News of our Lord Jesus Christ.

In Evangelii Nuntiandi St. Pope Paul taught us that “The Church is an evangelizer, but she begins by being evangelized herself” so as “to retain freshness, vigor and strength in order to proclaim the Gospel.”

And St. Pope Paul further emphasized that evangelization must be intimately linked to social justice, development, peace and liberation. He writes with deep empathy about the enduring struggles of the world’s poor and oppressed: “famine, chronic disease, illiteracy, poverty, injustices in international relations and especially in commercial exchanges, situations of economic and cultural neocolonialism sometimes as cruel as the old political colonialism. The Church … has the duty to proclaim the liberation of millions of human beings – many of whom are her own children – the duty of assisting the birth of this liberation, of giving witness to it, of ensuring that it is complete. This is not foreign to evangelization” (see: https://bit.ly/2LVKkjb).

“The angel of the Lord appeared to them [shepherds] and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were stuck with fear. The angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord.’ ”

If we really believe this, than how can we possibly keep from proclaiming this “good news of great joy” for all the people!

Tony Magliano is an internationally syndicated Catholic social justice and peace columnist. He is available to speak at diocesan or parish gatherings. Tony can be reached at tmag6@comcast.net.

Published in: on December 24, 2020 at 10:30 am  Leave a Comment  

O Antiphon for December 23rd: O With us is God

From USCCB:
The Roman Church has been singing the “O” Antiphons since at least the eighth century. They are the antiphons that accompany the Magnificat canticle of Evening Prayer from December 17-23. They are a magnificent theology that uses ancient biblical imagery drawn from the messianic hopes of the Old Testament to proclaim the coming Christ as the fulfillment not only of Old Testament hopes, but present ones as well. Their repeated use of the imperative “Come!” embodies the longing of all for the Divine Messiah.

The following O Antiphons reflections were developed by a joint education and advocacy effort of the Episcopal Networks Collaborative. We will offer the daily Antiphon here for the octave of Christmas.


Antiphon

O Emmanuel, our king and our lawgiver,
the hope of the nations and their Saviour:
Come and save us, O Lord our God.

Meditation
O come, O come, our hope, Immanuel.
Our Guide, Creator’s sign, is manifest,
with strength and courage joyfully received.
O come, O come, our hope, Immanuel
.
-Becky Clark, Diocese of Olympia,
wrote the Meditation for each antiphon.

A Reflection from Abraham Ndungu:

The first line of Antiphon O Emmanuel evokes the idea of God who is among his people and therefore feels with them (Emmanuel); God who is the king (a ruler who is, therefore, the protector and provider for is people); and God who is the promoter of justice through provision of the law.

The second and third line of the Antiphon is a follow-up of the first line. That God who is a just ruler and who dwells among his people is the hope for the world’s salvation and can be called upon for help.

As much as Isaiah 7:14 may not have been talking about the birth of Jesus Christ per se, Matthew uses that scripture to point to the birth of Jesus, the savior of the world, indicating that God was among his people to bring healing, hope and shalom.

Advent is a period that reminds us that God not only came to live with people through the birth of Jesus Christ for purposes of bringing his shalom but that he is always present with us, always, and that his fullness of his presence is awaited in the eschaton.

A Reflection from Paige Foreman:

A staple of Advent organ music is the first movement of French organist Marcel Dupre’s Symphonie-Passion, “The World Awaiting the Savior.” The movement begins with darkness and dissonance. The composer is constantly changing the meter of the plodding rhythm so listeners feel unsettled. The world without the savior is a world in discord.

Saint Augustine once wrote that humans desire because we’re alive and we exist within time. The two things we desire, material things and the eternity of God, are constantly at odds with each other. This conflict can cause chaos.

In the middle of “The World Awaiting the Savior” is a peaceful chorale that is a resting place in the midst of the darkness and discord. This represents the birth of Jesus Christ and how He showed us a world of abundance and love.

Before we know it though, the peace of the chorale is just a memory and we are back in the chaos. The world is full of sin and despair before and after the savior is born—it is up to us to take what Jesus Christ taught us and change the world for the better. In the material world, we see only finite things and fail to remember the presence of God in our lives. Christ says in the Gospel of Matthew:

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also,” (Matthew 6:19-21, NRSV).

Today, the three richest Americans have more wealth than the bottom 50% of Americans, and this is happening while people are dying from lack of health care, poor nutrition, and drug overdoses. When we store up treasures on earth, the illusion of scarcity becomes a murderous ghost that takes the lives of vulnerable people. When we listen to the wisdom of Christ and share our material wealth, we store up treasures in heaven. The illusion of scarcity becomes less potent because we find the strength to love beyond fear.

Aspire to give more and love more this holiday season for when we do, God is with us.


Thank you for praying with us this Octave before Christmas. May your holidays be happy and healthy!

Published in: on December 23, 2020 at 3:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

O Antiphon for December 22nd: O King of Nations

From USCCB:
The Roman Church has been singing the “O” Antiphons since at least the eighth century. They are the antiphons that accompany the Magnificat canticle of Evening Prayer from December 17-23. They are a magnificent theology that uses ancient biblical imagery drawn from the messianic hopes of the Old Testament to proclaim the coming Christ as the fulfillment not only of Old Testament hopes, but present ones as well. Their repeated use of the imperative “Come!” embodies the longing of all for the Divine Messiah.

The following O Antiphons reflections were developed by a joint education and advocacy effort of the Episcopal Networks Collaborative. We will offer the daily Antiphon here for the octave of Christmas.


Antiphon
O King of the nations, and their desire,
the cornerstone making both one:
Come and save the human race,
which you fashioned from clay.

Meditation
O King of nations, cornerstone, our peace.
In our discord your harmony maintained,
Your justice heals, no pain, no tears, just grace.
O King of nations, cornerstone, our peace.
-Becky Clark, Diocese of Olympia,
wrote the Meditation for each antiphon.

A reflection by Dianne Aid, TSSF:

Despair: Jesus came into a world of strife, oppression and conflict imposed by the royalty.

The “Kings” of Nations today fight with each other for Earthly power at the cost of Creation and the safety of humanity. We are wondering daily with fear of nuclear war. This threat comes out of leaders posturing with each other as to who is stronger and has the ability to destroy, not only perceived enemies but global impact. Our nation is deeply divided based on support of our political leaders – not so much based in real issues but in rhetoric and personality.

Jesus is a much different model of “king”: one that leads us from greed, selfishness and fear into being part of a life giving community (kingdom) of love. The Community of Jesus opens its arms widely to others, drawing compassion from us to nurture others, and freeing us to receive the compassion of others. Jesus is our spiritual king who lives within us and guides us to giving and receiving love and understanding this love is a love of abundance, not scarcity.

Question for Reflection: What am I (are we) hanging on to out of fear that letting go will endanger my/our comfort level?

Using a mantra or image that “Jesus is King” what steps can I/we take to live in the Community/Kingdom of Jesus?


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Published in: on December 22, 2020 at 3:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

Trustworthiness, The Bond of a Good Person

Reflection for the Feast of the Holy Family by Sr. Maria Orlandini, OSF, FAN Director of Advocacy

This reflection was originally posted in our December 21st newsletter


There is one sentence which stood out for me as I reflected on this week’s scripture on the Feast of the Holy Family.

In the letter to the Hebrews, the author of the letter is talking about Abraham’s faith and how obedient he was to the commands of God. The letter points out that it was by faith that he received power to generate and this was possible because, and here is what struck me, “… for he thought that the one who had made the promise was trustworthy.” Is giving of the word still a value today? In our polarized world, when it seems we agree and listen only to people who think like us, how do we determine the trustworthiness of the other? How important is it to be able to trust the other in order to achieve good things together?

George P. Shultz, the secretary of State in the Reagan administration, was 100 years old on December 13th this year. In an op-ed in the Washington Post on that day he wrote about the 10 most important things he has learned about trust, saying: “When trust was in the room, whether the room was – the family room, the school room, the locker room, the office room, the government room or the military room – good things happened.”

If Abraham did not trust, he would not be the father of many nations in a time when he thought to end his life childless. He would not have been able to look up at the stars and believe that one day he would have that many descendants. As Mary and Joseph listened to the words of Simeon in the Temple and the future he foretold of them and the child, they believed him because Simeon was trustworthy.

Our modern family unit is struggling in this world of rapid change. It seems that relationships of trust are paying the price for a desire for power, immediate satisfaction and results. In our government, trust has gone out the window. I believe that without trust in each other, in the good intentions of the other, nothing really can be accomplished.

Pope Francis has many times talked about the danger that today’s family is undergoing. He has invited parents and all the adults in guardian roles to rediscover the gift of their call: “Because of their trust in God, Mary and Joseph brought the baby Jesus to the temple to dedicate Him to God. This is a call to all parents to recognize that their children come as a gift from God; parents, then, are custodians of their children’s life, not proprietors”. How great it will be if we take the time to teach our children to trust and respect people even if they are different from us.

This week, we pray for families, taking as example the family of Joseph, Mary and Jesus, who also trusted the promise of God “as they grew together as a family in mutual love and trust in God.” (Pope Francis)

Sr. Maria Orlandini, OSF
FAN Director of Advocacy

Published in: on December 22, 2020 at 10:30 am  Leave a Comment