Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Advent Session for Laudato Si"

Courtesy of Maureen O'Keefe, rsm

Mercy and Justice Have Embraced (Ps 85:10)

First Sunday of Advent: “Strange things will happen to the sun, moon and stars. The nations on earth will be afraid of the roaring sea and tides, and they won’t know what to do..” Lk 21:25 

In his encyclical, Laudato Si’ (LS) Pope Francis calls people of faith and people of goodwill to dialogue about our ‘common home’. As we enter the Advent season, it’s a time of preparation and hope for an earth and spirit renewed. Can I go beyond the personal to include our suffering planet?  

So as our world awaits the birth of the Infant Jesus anew, let us think especially of: 
1. World leaders meeting in Paris to discuss climate change Nov 30-Dec 11th ...
2. The global Year of Mercy starting on December 8th ... 
3. The western world struggling with the fallout from the Paris massacre... 

In response to the above, Pope Francis is urging courage, compassion, justice and reconciliation. For Francis this includes both personal and collective responsibility: “We have to adapt due to climate change. The world’s poorest people are bearing the brunt” LS’, 29

MORGAN FREEMAN Film Clip – A Beautiful World  

Quiet time to reflect on what we have seen.... Decide on one concrete action!?

The UN COP21 meeting, also known as the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, will, for the first time in over 20 years of UN negotiations, aim to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C. This is critical and urgent! 

In Laudato Si’ strategically prepared in anticipation of COP2, Pope Francis reminds us that ALL creation is a gift from God and each person and creature has a right to this common home!  Francis believes that through the mystery of the Incarnation, Christ is intimately present in the world around us. When we see the gifts of the earth in the light of the Lord, we have a deeper understanding of how to care for our common home. 

What is my response to this photo?  


“If we want to bring about deep change, we need to realise that certain mindsets really do influence our behaviour. Our efforts at education will be inadequate and ineffectual unless we strive to promote a new way of thinking about human beings, life, society and our relationship with nature. Otherwise, the paradigm of consumerism will continue to advance, with the help of the media and the highly effective workings of the market.” (LS 215)

Q. Do I agree with this statement?  Does it demand that I make any changes in how I am living? 

Reflection: Creator God, we can choose to live differently! Inspire us as we make choices so that we will recognize the impact our lives have on our environment and our human family around the globe. We pray to the Lord: Lord, help us to reclaim the future! 

Loving God, we can reclaim the future! Encourage us to be people of hope as we look forwards in faith, knowing that we can build a world of justice and peace.                                                                 We pray to the Lord: R/Lord, help us to reclaim the future! 

Brilliant God, we can choose to live in a way that creates a better world for everyone. Help us to know that our individual actions are made in solidarity with our sisters and brothers.                             We pray to the Lord: R/Lord, help us to reclaim the future! 

Wonderful God, you invite us to live simply, to live sustainably, and to live in solidarity with the poor. So help us to respond to that invitation with conviction and generosity. 
We pray to the Lord: R/Lord, help us to reclaim the future!

Pope Francis in ‘Laudato Si’ calls us to: 
A conversion, a change of heart, 
so as to see Christ present 
in the world around us. 
Francis believes 
 “This conversion calls for a number of attitudes –
which together foster a spirit of generous care,
full of tenderness.
But first, ‘it entails gratitude and gratuitousness,
a recognition that the world is God’s loving gift and
that we are called to quietly imitate his generosity
in self-sacrifice and good works”  LS 220.

Mercy and Justice have embraced: A response to the Islamic State reality...
”Nation will not lift sword against nation; there will be no more training for war.”  Isaiah 2:4
Isaiah the Advent prophet offers hope that a time of peace IS coming! Whatever we hear in the media, this is not an impossible dream. Peace-building starts with each one of us and by the way that we treat the people around us including other creatures and planet earth. 

Question: What can I do, to promote a spirit of peace around me today?
During this first week of Advent – prayers are urgently needed:
190+ World Leaders will courageously sign a legally binding, universal Climate Treaty...
For a peace-full solution to the ISIS crisis through justice, mercy and negotiation...
That each of us be active peace-makers through knowing God’s peace in our hearts...

An Advent Hope: Can I retreat from the daily bustle and create some silence and stillness?