Peace & Justice

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

Monday, November 12, 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 November 18
As the church year comes to an end, the readings bring end-time visions meant to awaken us from our complacency and remind us of our dependence on God. In his book, The End of Poverty, Jeffrey Sachs tells us that every day 20,000 people die from extreme poverty “in hospital wards that lack drugs, in villages that lack anti-malarial bed nets, in houses that lack safe drinking water.” Sachs believes that extreme poverty could end by the year 2025 if people in the developed nations choose to make it a priority.

Pope Benedict XVI recently preached, “Love is the essence of Christianity, which makes the believer and the Christian community a leaven of hope and peace -- especially attentive to the needs of the poor and needy.” He goes on to say that it is necessary “to choose between the logic of profit as the ultimate criterion for our action, and the logic of sharing and solidarity. Basically, it is a matter of choosing between selfishness and love, between justice and solidarity, and ultimately, between God and Satan.”

Reflection: How will you commit to being a leaven of hope and peace for our world’s poor?

For Sunday Bulletins on November 25
The pressure to go along with the crowd can be intense and can tempt us to act contrary to the way of Jesus. In today’s Gospel, we hear how the crowd followed their leaders to jeer and mock Jesus as he hung in crucifixion. “In all of his suffering, as in all his life and ministry, Jesus refused to defend himself with force or violence. Most characteristic of Jesus’ actions are those in which he shows his love” (The Challenge of Peace: God’s Promise and Our Response, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops 1983).

Reflection: How difficult is it today to stand out from the crowd to follow the way of Jesus? How does our faith community strengthen us to show our love and reject violence?