Peace & Justice

This is the blog of the Commission on Peace and Justice for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, New York.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Building Peace with Justice

Building Peace with Justice is a brief, weekly bulletin reflection written by members of a Public Policy sub-committee of the Rochester Diocese that links the Sunday readings to Catholic social teaching. Many parishes publish them as space allows.

For Sunday Bulletins on June 10
An ancient tradition teaches that gems of wisdom, grace and love rest on our hearts at all times. It is when our hearts are broken that these gifts seep in and change and enrich our lives. The readings for this Sunday all speak of bread that is broken among the believers, loaves split to be shared with the community, food that feeds the hungry in whatever ways are needed – the same act as opening up our hearts to grace.

The act of breaking open the loaf, releasing the energy and abundance of the bread and producing wholeness out of brokenness is the message of Jesus life. Jesus is with us most completely when we are open, when our hearts are broken. Jesus takes the broken pieces and heals us, blesses us and sends us to do the same in community. Hearts and bread, blessed and broken, for the sake of the community.

For Sunday Bulletins on June 17
Today’s gospel provides wonderful insight into the important role genuine hospitality has in being Church. The Pharisee, a person of power and influence in the community, had a very rigid understanding of the law. He believed that the law required him to exclude those who would be considered “sinners” from being a part of the community. Consequently, as the dinner’s host, he was caught off guard by the actions of a woman who society had deemed a “sinner”. The Pharisee was even more shocked by Jesus’ non- judging acceptance of her offer and of his extending forgiveness to her. Furthermore, Jesus, using a parable of a creditor, considered the woman’s acts as being more welcoming than the host!

This reading causes us to take notice of who we are excluding from our own faith communities. Are we as a parish being hospitable to those who society has labeled “sinners?” Do we offer hospitality to people whose presence may cause us some discomfort?