Do Not Be Afraid

Reflection for the Thirty Second Sunday in Ordinary Time by Sr. Maryann Mueller, CSSF

This reflection was originally posted in our November 2nd Newsletter.

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This Sunday’s readings tell the stories of two widows who challenge us to look at how we share our resources. When Elijah asked the poor widow for food he counseled her “do not be afraid.” (1 KGS. 17:13) The widow trusted, shared the little she had, and had enough food for herself and her son, and also Elijah, for a year. “She was able to eat for a year, and he and her son as well.” (1 KGS. 17:15) In the Gospel, Jesus calls the disciples to him and commends the poor widow who “from her poverty, has contributed all she had.” (MK 12:44)

In September, 193 countries adopted the United Nations 2030 Development Agenda which will target global poverty, hunger, disease, lack of adequate shelter and decent work, and exclusion – while promoting equality, clean water and sanitation, education, and environmental sustainability. These goals seek to continue the works of the Lord proclaimed by the psalmist in today’s psalm: securing justice for the oppressed, giving food to the hungry and raising up those who are bowed down. (Psalm 146) Implementing these goals call us to “not be afraid” to share our resources with our brothers and sisters throughout the world.

In 2013 and 2014 the United Nations requested almost 13 billion dollars to fund its humanitarian operations for one year. Global military spending during those years averaged 1.65 trillion dollars. Most Americans are shocked when they learn that we spend less than 1 percent of our federal budget for humanitarian aid compared to the 20-25 percent of the budget spent on the military.

What if the 193 countries that adopted the 2030 Development Agenda strived for the next 15 years to be humanitarian superpowers rather than military superpowers? Perhaps we would find that there are resources for each person in the world to be able to live with dignity. Perhaps there would be less of an attraction to terrorism and to violence. In Laudato Si Pope Francis states, “The common good calls for social peace, the stability and security provided by a certain order which cannot be achieved without particular concern for distributive justice; whenever this is violated, violence always ensures.” (157) Let us pray to “not be afraid” to share our resources and to place our trust more in God and less in military weapons.

Sr. Maryann Mueller, CSSF
FAN Board Member

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Published in: on November 3, 2015 at 9:12 am  Leave a Comment  

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