Tag Archives: United Nations
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Social Action Has Two Feet!

2 Dec

Social-Action-Has-Two-Feet(9)-1

Gospel Reflection for November 29, 2015, 1st Sunday of Advent

24 Nov

Sunday Readings: Jeremiah 33.14-16; 1 Thessalonians 3.12-4.2; Luke 21.25-28, 34-36

“Stay watchful.”

(Luke 21.36)

Advent begins with a gospel that imagines Jesus coming in glory. The gospel fairly froths with frightening images. Scary gospels can hardly worry us more than our everyday headlines and breaking news. Refugees swarm north across border after border, seeking a safe future for their families. Climate change threatens our planet.

Beginning next Sunday in Paris the United Nations sponsors the 21st meeting among nations to negotiate a limit on global warming to 2 degrees celsius. We are inextricable bound together on our home planet. We are all neighbors profoundly called to cooperate and survive together. What we know we want for our own families is what refugees and immigrants are seeking – safety, education, a future. Jesus insists that the loving actions he teaches and lives will get us through not only every day but any day.

Who do you see as a source of hope we humans can help build a world in which all can thrive?

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12 Nov

UN-Infographic

“We can no longer trust in the unseen forces and the invisible hand of the market. Growth in justice requires more than economic growth, while presupposing such growth: it requires decisions, programs, mechanisms, and processes specifically geared to a better distribution of income, the creation of sources of employment, and an integral promotion of the poor which goes beyond a simple welfare mentality.”

Joy of the Gospel #204

In 2000 at the United Nations, 192 nations committed to 8 Millennium Development Goals to achieve by 2015. It took only 10 years to achieve the first goal — to cut in half the number of people living on $1.25 a day. Today 90% of the children in our world complete primary school, both girls and boys (goal 2). More than 2.3 billion people had safe drinking water by 2012.

In fact, the success of the MDGs shows more is possible. The United Nations is working on Sustainable Development Goals to focus and further the work of a sustainable future for all.

“Each individual Christian and every community is called to be an instrument of God for the liberation and promotion of the poor, enabling them to be fully a part of society” (Joy of the Gospel #187).

What is a way you work to include people in poverty in our economy?

AIDS

14 Sep

Yesterday as its editor, I worked on the Sunday by Sunday issues for Advent, Christmas, and after. The Two Feet feature in the issue for the 1st Sunday of Advent recommends observing World AIDS Day, December 1, by visiting UNAIDS. The World Health Organization initiated this day to reduce the shame and spread of AIDS. The AIDS quilt project to remember those who died grew out of this awareness building. At UNAIDS I found current statistics. To date world wide, 60 million have died.

In 2000 the United Nations made halting and reversing the spread of HIV/AIDS one of its eight Millennium Development Goals to achieve by 2015, a year drawing near. New infections are down. Anti-retrovirus drugs allow some 33 million people to live with HIV, five million more surviving than in 2005. About two million people still die each year. Sixteen million children have lost their parents.

A colleague emailed a professor friend finishing up her last two weeks on a Fulbright grant in Zambia. The numbers above are just statistics to most of us in the U.S. but in Zambia it’s daily life. The friend writes,

“The Fulbright evaluation asks what cultural events I attend. All I could reply was to note all the funerals I have attended or contributed money to. So many adults dying—AIDS is always alluded to but never acknowledged.”

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