Learn more about Catholic Relief Services here.
Learn more about Catholic Relief Services here.
In the winter of 1998, Ryan Hreljac was a first-grader who was listening when his teacher told the class about countries that didn’t have clean drinking water. Ryan lived in Canada and had never imagined schools without drinking fountains. He was interested in helping people in the African countries his teacher talked about so he started raising money to help build a well. His fundraising and advocacy turned into a social justice movement. Today Ryan is a college student. His first-grade project has evolved into Ryan’s Well, a foundation that has helped build 749 water projects and 992 latrines bringing safe water and improved sanitation to 789,907 people.
As stated in this week’s Sunday By Sunday: Many people in our world need help to survive.
AIDS has left thousands of children in Africa without parents. Learn about Catholic Relief Service’s response to these problems:
Catholic Relief Services works in over 30 countries throughout Africa and strives to enhance human dignity, empower the people that it helps and strengthen and support partner organizations. CRS achieves this by working in the areas of food security, peace building, HIV and AIDS, civil society building, Emergency Response and health among others.
This week’s Sunday By Sunday features the organization Beyond the 11th. Beyond the 11th is a nonprofit organization that empowers widows in Afghanistan who have been afflicted by war, terrorism, and oppression. Its mission is to reach beyond differences of culture and geography to embrace the most essential of connections: humanity.
See also Razia’s Ray of Hope, an organization Patti Quigley directs.
Jesus was teaching in the temple and spoke out against the scribes being showy in their faith, looking for status.
Jesus said, “I want you to observe that this poor widow gave more to the treasury than all the others. They gave from their loose change what they could spare. But she in her poverty gave the pennies she had to live on.”
The scribes in this Sunday’s gospel seem unable to penetrate the heart of the law. They like to benefit from their positions as respected teachers, even at the expense of powerless people like widows. Jesus warns people to beware of such self-centered, greedy teachers.
Jesus values authentic faith and piety. He values the widow’s simple gift more than long, public prayers for show. The widow is like Jesus himself, who gives his entire life for love of God and neighbor.
In what measure are you a Christian in appearance? In what measure an authentic Christian?
Tags: 32nd sunday in ordinary time, compassion, giving, Gospel of Mark, Gospel Reflection, gospel reflection november 11, Joan Mitchell CSJ, Mark 12.43-44, Sister Joan, social justice, Sunday By Sunday, the bible
“The past two years have been particularly tenuous for hungry and poor people in the United States and around the world, as the programs that support them remain at risk for deep budget cuts,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “With the presidential election fast approaching, Christians should understand the issues and take part in God’s work to end hunger.”
Learn more about World Food Day here. How are you getting involved?
Jesus said, “How hard for those trusting riches to enter the kingdom of God.”
In his lifetime, Jesus was an itinerant preacher, who possessed no belongings and owned no home. Jesus sent his disciples out in the same way—with no food, money, bags, or second tunic.
Christians for whom Mark writes in A.D. 70 struggle with issues of wealth and human purpose. This problem persists and worsens in our world. Benedict XVI reviews the Catholic social teaching on economic inequality in the 2009 encyclical Caritas et Veritate.
Economics always involves moral decisions that affect the common good. The holy father challenges a right to excess. Our interpersonal relationships define us, he insists. These relations bind us in love and respect to other people and to God, source of the gift of existence.
What makes investing yourself or money difficult?
Jesus makes a suggestion that proves outrageous in Sunday’s gospel. He invites a rich young man to sell his possessions, give the money to the poor, and follow him. The young man walks away. All three synoptic gospels tell this story.
Sisters are among the followers of Jesus who choose the lifestyle Jesus proposes. To be a sister is to invest one’s life energies and gifts in serving and empowering our neighbors, especially the poor, 85% of whom are women and their children.
Read the full issue (pdf)
Jesus took a little child and stood the child among them. Jesus took the child in his arms and said, “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me, but the one who sent me.”
In the ancient world children were invisible, non-people of little consequence. Jesus taking a child in his arms must have shocked the boasting, arguing disciples. Jesus tells them that they must invert their basic beliefs about first and last. They must abandon the usual benchmarks of accomplishment and acclaim. In Jesus’ company the invisible become visible, servants are first, and those with higher status fade into the background.
When have you recognized the amazing presence of someone long invisible to you?
More from this week’s issue of Sunday By Sunday:
“…The help my father needed with personal tasks insulted his sense of privacy. Wheelchair bound, he spoke and swallowed with difficulty. Reading was impossible without assistance from a family member or friend. He became increasingly dependent on my mother for emotional support. Then she died, and I took over her habit of daily visits.”
Read the rest of this story (pdf)
I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never hungry, and whoever believes in my will never be thirsty.
When Jesus sat at a table with his friends 2,000 years ago, he had little more to say to them than what he had been trying to say through the whole witness of his life: “Here I am, like this bread and this cup—take it, let me be broken and poured out for you, so that the kingdom may come.”