O God, give me the courage and strength
To be worthy of being called a Christian.
—Karl Rahner, SJ
The painful complexity of our times gives ample opportunity for reflection on the meaning of living ethically in community. Sunday’s Gospel reading, Matthew 25:31–46, with its apocalyptic vision of the last judgment, reminds Christians of the stakes involved. And it spells out in no uncertain terms that service to another is service to Christ — that in the dailiness of life, we are called to offer service to those who need care. Authentic Christian witness in the public square stands on the biblical ground that merciful behavior is essential to God’s purpose.
In practice, in the year 2020, mercy looks a lot like solidarity in suffering. This is sacred work, played out from the realization that we are, at any given moment, both the one serving and the one in need of service. Richard Rohr explains it in terms of common human longing:
“When we carry our small suffering in solidarity with the one universal longing of all humanity, it helps keep us from self-pity or self-preoccupation. We know that we are all in this together, and it is just as hard for everybody else. Almost all people are carrying a great and secret hurt, even when they don’t know it. When we can make the shift to realize this, it softens the space around our overly-defended hearts. It makes it hard to be cruel to anyone. It somehow makes us one — in a way that easy comfort and entertainment never can” (The Universal Christ, ch. 13, “It Can’t Be Carried Alone,” pp. 161–2).
This week’s formation resources offer, on this festival of the Reign of Christ, occasions to reflect on our commonality and joyful obligation to one another, as we strive to walk in the way of Christ.
Blessings and peace,
Dr. Kathy Bozzuti-Jones
Faith Formation & Education
This Sunday at 10am, we’ll gather for an opening assembly and then children can choose from two breakout groups. If you haven’t already, please register to join and receive the Webex link to the live program and a supply kit sent to your home.
Preschool through 5th grade, 30 minutes
We’ll learn about The Good Shepherd and World Communion. During Response Time, we’ll continue to build our Good Shepherd at-home set. Materials suggestions: clay, Legos, pipe cleaners, cotton balls, wood blocks, etc.
Whole People of God
2nd through 5th grade, 30–45 minutes
Who enters the Kingdom of God? How do we enter the Kingdom of God? We’ll explore these questions through skits and improv.