We have the usual mix of social justice and peace issues. The situation in the Holy Land with the annexation of Palestinian land continues, and there is much about how we want our world to be after the Virus, both environmentally and financially.
This week, the time limit on immigration detention vote did not pass, but we still keep on with the pressure. There are comments below from the Jesuit Refugee Service and Safe Passage.
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E-Bulletin Contents: –
News and Comment
- Traidcraft comment on #BlackLivesMatter
- The Arc of Racial Injustice
- NJPN column in the Universe
- Articles on Immigration Detention
- Comments on the situation in the Holy Land
- The Pope prays for the people of Yemen and Ukraine
- Breaking the debt bonds – modern slavery in the time of coronavirus
- Windrush – lessons learned
- Hottest Temperature ever recorded in the Arctic
- Dire situation in Cameroon – fighting Covid-19 as well as a civil war
- 600 million children at risk in South Asia due to pandemic
- United Nations statement in Support of Victims of Torture
- Thoughts on the Post-Covid world
- Korea – Ecumenical Peace Message
- Bad news for the poor? Why the abolition of DFID matters.
- Keep KitKat Fairtrade
17. Caritas Social Action Network June 2020 Newsletter
18. Operation Noah June 2020 Newsletter
19. Together for the Common Good Newsletter
20. Lancaster Faith and Justice July 2020 Newsletter
21. FareShare Newsletter
22. Palestine Solidarity Campaign Online Rally
23. Church Action on Poverty online show ‘The Collective.’
24. Campaign Against the Arms Trade Reading Group
25. Money makes Change – hosted by the
Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility
26. Global Justice Now: halt the potential profiteering
***NJPN Action of the Week***
27. Christian CND Statement to mark 75th anniversary of
bombings in Nagasaki and Hiroshima.
28. Boycott Puma for sponsoring the Israeli football team
29. Biofuelwatch – “Green Heat” cannot come from intensive farming
30. Protect, not neglect; help protect victims of slavery in the UK
31. Global Justice Now – Flagrant profiteering on Covid drug
32. Don’t bring back benefit sanctions
33. Petition the Government re creating green jobs
34. Coronavirus: Drop the debt
35. Stop Arming Saudi
36. Tell the EU to end Slavery in Libya
37. The Word and the Common Good – a course of six sessions
38. Our Common Home – CAFOD’s new strategic framework
39. Quaker Trustee (The Peace Museum)
The Last Word
40. Reflection from CAFOD
NEWS AND COMMENT
1. Thoughts on the Black Lives Matter march in Newcastle
Traidcraft are actively, noisily passionate about equality, religion and opportunity, regardless of background, heritage, experience or inheritance, and have been for over four decades.
This month, Robin, their Mission and Transparency Lead, defied Government advice and joined the (socially distanced) Black Lives Matter march in Newcastle.
“We listened to speeches, we knelt, we were silent, and, of course, we marched. No justice, no peace.”
Robin’s thoughts on the March are available to read here.
2. ‘The Arc of Racial Injustice’ by William Collins Donahue
‘Violence against black people has become so prevalent that it is impossible to maintain even a residual faith in the narrative of gradual racial justice.’
An interesting piece of writing about how, over the last 50 years or so, not much has changed in regards to racial injustice in America. A country where ‘older white rightwing protesters (like the ones who occupied the Michigan State Capitol with guns strapped across their chests just a few weeks ago) are treated much more respectfully and gently than younger people, including people of color, protesting the murder of Floyd and police brutality more generally. The president himself made full use of police power to disperse a peaceable crowd so that he could stage a photo-op of himself holding up a Bible in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church. He has also threatened to deploy the military against U.S. citizens.’ For the full story, click here.
3. Latest NJPN Columns in The Universe
From Goal to Vision – Fr. Rob Esdaile, Parish Priest of Our Lady of Lourdes, Thames Ditton, talks about the growing impact of poverty and the sort of questions we need to be asking of ourselves. The article was published in The Universe on the 26th June. Read it here.
Sampling a Better Life – Dr. Andrew Neil Rollinson is an independent energy engineer and a member of the NJPN Environment Working Group. His article in The Universe of the 3rd July talks about the environment and the difference a few weeks of lockdown have made to wildlife, and that it is possible to bring about systemic change. Read it here.
Our thanks go to our friends at The Universe for supporting us. If you would like to take out a subscription to their newspaper, please follow the link.
4. Immigration Detention and the vote that took place this week
Catholic and Anglican Bishops send letter to The Telegraph
The Bishops have sent a letter to The Telegraph urging MPs to support a time-limit on immigration detention in the UK. This was ahead of the crucial vote in Parliament this week. Details of the letter are here. As you will see below, the majority of MP’s voted against this, sadly.
Detained and Dehumanised: the impact of immigration detention
The Jesuit Refugee Service have published their new report ‘Detained and Dehumanised: the impact of immigration detention.’ Their research is drawn from the accounts of 27 forcibly displaced people supported by JRS with direct experience of detention. It is a powerful yet devastating read. In it we find that the UK’s practice of indefinite immigration detention has a deep and lasting impact on the person, on their mental and physical health, on the way they interact with the world, and on their sense of self and humanity. The report can be read here.
Joanna, from the JRS Communications Team, says the following; ‘The release of our report coincided with a debate in parliament on the Immigration Bill, with MP David Davis leading a call for a time limit of 28 days to be introduced, in line with the recommendations presented in our report. While he and several other MPs mentioned our report in their debate on Tuesday, ultimately the majority voted against this proposed time limit. While we are disappointed at this stage, we will continue to fight for an end to the cruel and inhumane practice of indefinite detention. I truly hope that our report, and the press coverage around it might encourage many more of you to support us in this mission.’
Update on the vote on Family Reunion from Safe Passage
The vote in the Commons on family reunion for refugees didn’t win, but a lot of Conservative MP’s voted against the Government. The Government was obviously spooked, trying to stop larger numbers rebelling by sending round a document full of dubious claims just hours before. Safe Passage have produced a Factcheck, so that you can see the arguments that the Government put forward, and the actual truth of the matter. Find it here. The next stage for the Bill is the House of Lords. Watch this space and share the details of the Factcheck to everyone you know.
5. Holy Land – various comments and articles
A Reflection on the Holy Land Situation from the Independent Catholic News
Joseph Hazboun, Regional Director for Palestine and Israel for the Pontifical Mission, Jerusalem, writes:
In our tiny piece of land, we watch as two leaders have put their agendas onto unpleasant paths. Netanyahu, with his expansion, annexation, and oppression plans, is leading the region into riot and chaos while Trump with his bullying attitude, is leading the whole world towards war. However, politics is not our business, people’s wellbeing are.
The full article is available to read here.
Holy See to US and Israel: Unilateral actions jeopardize peace in the Middle East
The Vatican Secretary of State met with U.S. and Israeli Ambassadors last Tuesday, expressing the Holy See’s concern “regarding possible unilateral actions” and reiterates its position that both Israel and Palestine have the right to exist, and to live in peace within internationally recognised borders. The full article from Vatican News is available here.
Joint Ecumenical Statement: Annexation will undermine peace and justice
The World Council of Churches, World Communion of Reformed Churches, ACT Alliance and Lutheran World Federation have released an “Ecumenical Statement on the Planned Annexation of Occupied Palestinian Territory.”
The statement expresses concern over the planned annexation of occupied Palestinian territories in the West Bank by Israel, and can be found here.
6. Pope Francis prays for those suffering in Yemen and Ukraine
Pope Francis has invited us to pray for those suffering in war-torn Yemen and those affected by flooding in Ukraine. He particularly mentions the malnourished children of Yemen, and the full article from Vatican News is here.
7. Traidcraft Exchange on modern slavery in the time of the coronavirus.
A vicious circle of borrowing money to feed your family in exchange for your labour. Read the article about the trap that people can easily fall into, and in particular certain people in India and Bangladesh. Click here.
8. The Catholic Association for Racial Justice welcomes the promise
to implement the Windrush Recommendations.
The Windrush Lessons Learned Review led by Wendy Williams was published on 30 March 2020 with 30 recommendations. The Home Secretary, Priti Patel, has accepted all 30 recommendations and promised to implement them. This announcement by the Home Secretary is very welcome.
The full press release from CARJ can be found here.
The Review by Wendy Williams is available to read here.
Plus, Bishop Paul McAleenan’s article on Windrush Day. He heralds the importance and value of the Windrush Generation as well as that of the UK’s migrant and ethnic minority communities.
Find it here.
9. A disastrous summer in the Arctic
Siberia is in the midst of an astonishing and unprecedented heatwave, with a temperature of 100.4 Fahrenheit recorded on the 20th June. An interesting article from The New Yorker, with rather a depressing ending, is available here.
10. International Community call for ceasefire in Cameroon
Respected leaders from the international community under their umbrella body, the Global Campaign for Peace and Justice in Cameroon (GCPJC), have called on warring parties in the Central African nation to reach a ceasefire if the fight against COVID-19 pandemic in the country can be effective. The article from Association for Catholic Information in Africa can be read here.
Also, the leadership of the Rome-based Catholic Lay Religious Sovereign Order of Malta, Malteser Intentional (MI), is sending an Emergency Medical Team to Cameroon in response to the Central African nation’s appeal for international assistance in controlling the “the rapid spread of COVID-19.” They will be assisting and providing training for medical staff in three hospitals.
Click to read more..
11. UNICEF: Future of 600 million children at risk due to pandemic
This week, the UN Children’s Agency, UNICEF warned that the Coronavirus pandemic is “unravelling decades of health, education and other advances for children across South Asia”.
In a new report issued on Tuesday, the agency said that “governments must take urgent action to prevent millions of families from slipping back into poverty.” Further details, including an interview with the report’s author, Simon Ingram, can be found on the Vatican News website.
12. ‘Torturers must never get away with their crimes.’
On International Day in the Support of Victims of Torture, United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, urged everyone to speak out against torture: ‘an abhorrent denial of human dignity. The UN statement is available to read through Vatican News and mentions that the Covid-19 pandemic has led to an escalation of torture worldwide. Click here for details.
13. Post-Covid thoughts and reflections
The World after Covid-19: a typology of crises by Frank Turner Sj
While certain restrictions may be easing in the UK, the prospect of a world after Covid-19 still seems to be remote, if it is possible at all. When it comes to shaping the post-virus world, how do we even frame the right questions, and from which perspectives do those questions need to be asked? In the first of a two-part article, Frank Turner SJ surveys the complex political, economic, environmental and civic terrain to which coronavirus has directed our attention, and from which decisions must be made. Available here.
The time is now
A Rocha UK CEO, Andy Atkins, comments on the critical window of opportunity to ‘build back better’ from the pandemic. He discusses the environmental impact of Covid-19 and the opportunity we need to take to rescue our future. Click here to read further.
WWF video on Nature and Pandemics
What causes a pandemic like Covid-19, and why is protecting nature so fundamental to reducing the risk of future outbreaks? Available to watch here.
14. Joint Ecumenical Peace Message on the anniversary of the start of the Korean War
Seventy years ago, on the 25th June 1950, the Korean War began. It was to cost the lives of approximately three million people – the majority of them civilians, result in the destruction of virtually all of the major cities on the Korean Peninsula, separate many families, and leave a lasting legacy of bitterness, fear and division among people who share the same language, traditional culture and ancient history.
The World Council of Churches have issued a Peace Message, which, quite rightly, calls for a formal declaration of the end of the Korean War, and swift moves for adoption of a Peace Treaty. Read their statement here.
15. Joint Public Issues Team on the abolition of DFID
JPIT’S Simeon Mitchell, who worked in the International Development Sector for twenty years, offers a personal perspective on the merging of DFID with the FCO and why many people feel it is a bad idea. Read his article here.
16. Fairtrade producers ask Nestlé to keep KitKat Fairtrade
After a decade of sourcing cocoa and sugar for KitKat in the UK and Ireland, Nestlé have informed Fairtrade they no longer plan to buy Fairtrade cocoa and sugar from some of the world’s most vulnerable small scale farmers.
The move will mean a loss of almost £2 million (£1.95 million) in Fairtrade Premium each year for co-operatives in Côte d’Ivoire, Fiji and Malawi, representing 27,000 small scale producers. This income is a real lifeline for some of the world’s poorest farmers.
Read the full article here.
There is also a petition to keep KitKat Fairtrade. Follow this link…
There will certainly not be KitKats in our house in future. (Editor)
17. Caritas Social Action Network June 2020
CSAN have produced a very good newsletter covering various social justice issues. You can sign up to receive their newsletter here.
18. Operation Noah – June 2020
Operation Noah have a couple of events coming up; plus a recording of their Webinar about church investments in major oil companies, along with other interesting articles. Read it here.
19. Together for the Common Good Pentecost Newsletter
Together for the Common Good have produced a very informative newsletter, including a call to the church to renew its vocation. You can read the newsletter here and subscribe to future editions here.
20. Lancaster Faith and Justice July Newsletter
A lot of interesting articles about the effects of Covid-19, plus the ethics of our politics and economics, as well as comment on the whole DFID/FCO story. You can download it from their website here.
21. FareShare Newsletter
Thanks to an incredible campaign by FareShare supporter Marcus Rashford the Government did a U-turn on its free school meal vouchers a couple of weeks ago.
However, we know there’s still more to do. Families on low incomes have been one of the groups hardest hit by this crisis. Even with the voucher scheme in place we’ve seen demand for food skyrocket – with 80% of the new charities we’ve signed up since lockdown now providing food parcels to children and their families.
To see what is being done, and what can be done in your area, sign up to their newsletter.
22. Online Rally – And Still We Rise!
Palestine Solidarity Campaign will be co-hosting an online rally on Friday 10th July at 6pm, ‘Minneapolis, Soweto, London, occupied Jerusalem & beyond: United against Racism & Colonialism!’
They will be joined by US activist Marc Lamont Hill, Stefanie Fox from Jewish Voice for Peace, Chief Mandla Mandela from South Africa, Zita Holbourne from UK Black Activists Rising Against Cuts, Omar Barghouti from the BDS movement, and many more!
23. Church Action on Poverty – The Collective
The Collective is Church Action on Poverty’s new monthly show that brings together inspiring stories from across the country of collective action to promote dignity, agency and power.
The first episode will focus on Church Responses to the Crisis
You can watch it on Zoom or Facebook Live on Tuesday 14th July, 2pm – 2.40 pm. Sign up for updates direct from their website.
24. CAAT Reading Group via Zoom.
First Session – Introduction to the Arms Trade.
Beginning on Thursday 16th July at 6pm, and then weekly, discussing a range of topics – starting with an introduction to the arms trade, then delving deeper into issues from Coronavirus and the arms trade to the Stop Arming Saudi Campaign. Register here.
25. ECCR – Money Makes Change Workshops
Join ECCR in the last two of three workshops, being held on the 8th and 15th July. There are two sessions to choose from: – 11am – 12.30pm, or 8pm – 9.30pm. They will be exploring how to better connect faith and money and how it can be used to shape a fairer, more sustainable world.
More details here…
26. Global Justice Now: halt the profiteering
As governments struggle to try and protect their citizens from the fallout of coronavirus, lawyers and big business are threatening to use trade deals to profiteer from this crisis.
A wave of new ‘corporate court’ cases threatens to drain vital funds from the public sector, as big business tries to cash in by challenging policies introduced to protect people’s safety and jobs from the pandemic.
Take Action Now.
*** NJPN Action of the Week***
27. New Statement to mark 75th anniversary of the nuclear bombing in Japan
Christian CND is coordinating the signing of a statement to mark the 75th anniversary of the bombings of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The statement notes that not only did the bombings kill hundreds of thousands of people but they left many more dealing with the environment, physical and psychological damage, which continues to this day.
To be involved in adding your name to the statement, go to Christian CND.
28. Puma and it’s involvement in Israel
Palestine Solidarity Campaign writes: – Despite growing international pressure, Puma remains the main sponsor of the Israel Football Association (IFA) – which includes teams in Israel’s illegal settlements. Every settlement is a war crime under international law, and they are a fundamental assault on Palestinian rights.
By sponsoring the IFA, Puma is supporting settlement infrastructure and the dispossession of Palestinians from their land. In addition to this, Puma’s exclusive licensee in Israel – Delta Galil Industries – is listed in the UN database of companies sustaining Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise. This video explains the situation.
British model and actress Cara Delevingne is known for using her platform to advocate for justice and equality for all. She is an advocate of LGBTQIA+ rights and gender justice.
She has condemned institutionalized racism, joining Black Lives Matter protests in Los Angeles this month and echoing calls to #DefundPolice.
She has drawn the parallels between today’s Black-led global uprising against racism and the June 27, 1969 Stonewall uprising, when Black Trans woman Marsha P. Johnson led the revolt against police harassment of and violence against queer communities.
Let’s thank Cara Delevingne, brand ambassador for Puma, for advocating for justice and urge her to join us in telling Puma to end support for Israeli apartheid.
Urge Cara Delevingne to take her message of equality and justice for all to Puma here.
29. Biofuelwatch – help needed re two key issues
“Green Gas Support Scheme” Consultation
1. Tell the UK Government: “Green heat” can’t come from more intensive farming
Right now, the UK Government is consulting on a new “Green Gas Support Scheme” which threatens to harm wildlife, make us more dependent on food imports and damage our soils which we depend on for food. Biofuelwatch need help to tell the Government that we do not want new “green gas subsidies” to be used to find biomethane from “energy crops” such as maize and grass.
Click here to help.
Cut Carbon not Forests
2. NGO coalition launches new campaign to redirect biomass power subsidies to clean energy
Biofuelwatch is pleased to announce being part of a coalition of environmental advocacy groups which have launched the Cut Carbon Not Forests campaign to expose the UK’s wasteful subsidies for companies that burn trees for electricity and to put pressure on policy makers to support reform.
They are asking us to email our MP with a clear message to scrap subsidies for fake climate solutions that destroy forests.
Please add your name here.
30. Protect victims of slavery in the UK
Who would you turn to? If you were looking for a better life but instead found yourself trafficked. If you were threatened, beaten, tortured, raped. Who would you turn to in a country where you don’t speak the language? Where you have no way to communicate the terror you live with?
Victims of modern slavery don’t know where to go or who to turn to for help. Even when they manage to escape from the criminals who coerce, threaten and exploit them, they face a system that neglects them. Many face destitution, homelessness and a return to the slavery they escaped from. Read more and send your petition to Priti Patel, asking for protection for the victims of slavery.
31.Global Justice Now re Covid-19 drug
US pharmaceutical company Gilead announced that they will charge an extraordinary $2,340 for the drug remdesivir, which is being used as a treatment for Covid-19. The drug has been developed with substantial amounts of public money in the US and researchers have estimated that it can be made for $9, including a reasonable profit.
This is a blatant act of corporate profiteering and shows a barefaced disregard for the public health crisis that the world is facing. Vast sums of public money are being poured into the urgent research and development of Covid-19 vaccines and treatments and yet there are no safeguards to ensure that these will be global public goods – affordable to all countries and free to the public. This news about Gilead could be a sign of things to come if we don’t pressure governments to act.
Add your name here.
32. 38 Degrees – Don’t bring back benefit sanctions
Imagine arriving to work five minutes late and having your pay docked. For anyone who depends on benefits, it only takes missing the bus to the JobCentre to be given a sanction and lose payments. With the UK economy going to be hit hard with job loses in the thousands, we cannot let benefit claimants have their money stopped or cut.
During the height of the coronavirus crisis, there were no sanctions. The government stopped them for 3 months. We know that the benefits system can function without sanctioning people.
But benefit sanctions are set to return in England. Huge public backlash could force the government to rethink their decision, and stop the unfair and cruel sanctions for good.
For more information and to sign the petition go to…
33. Petition the Government re the creation of green jobs
Boris Johnson announced that we will “build back greener”, but the climate emergency barely got a look-in when it came to how money is going to be spent.
As well as tackling the climate emergency, a green recovery could create 1.8 million green jobs.
These jobs would provide a vital lifeline for young people, those transitioning from polluting industries, and people facing unemployment after coronavirus. As we face a major unemployment crisis, we need the government to act quickly as possible to create jobs that will benefit us, and the planet. Sign Greenpeace’s petition to the Government to create 1.8 million green jobs.
34. Global Just Now: Coronavirus – Drop the debt
Countries around the world need to massively scale up their health budgets to fight the coronavirus crisis. But lower-income countries are due to spend $40 billion on debt payments in 2020 alone.
In Mali, the country has 20 ventilators for a population of 19 million. In Haiti, there are 64 ventilators to cover 11 million people. Kenya has 130 beds in intensive care units, for 50 million people. We have 4,000 ICUs in the UK – and we all know it’s not enough.
The UN has called this crisis the biggest challenge for the world since World War Two, and called for global solidarity. That starts by dropping the debt.
Please sign the petition to the UK Chancellor now.
35. Campaign Against Arms Trade – Stop arming Saudi
We must end UK complicity in the war in Yemen. Thousands of people have been killed by five years of bombing in Yemen, many more by hunger and disease. Now Yemen is facing the dual threat of cholera and COVID-19 with a health system shattered by war.
Shamefully, UK-made fighter jets, bombs and missiles have played a central role in this destruction. The UK government has continued to support the supply of weapons to the Saudi-led coalition, even as it bombed schools, hospitals and food supplies.
In June 2019 the Court of Appeal ruled that UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen are unlawful – but the government continues to fight the Court’s judgment, and to supply arms.
Please stand with us to end these arms sales once and for all.
36. Tell the EU to end Slavery in Libya
Ninety-three migrants have been rescued and returned to Libya after trying to reach Europe across the Mediterranean, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported on Twitter last week.
The UN agency said that one woman among them gave birth on a rubber dinghy, while six more died before the survivors were rescued and returned to the city of Khoms.
For migrants like those rescued, a return to Libya often means a return to the country’s notorious detention centers, where they face forced labour and violence among other human rights abuses.
Freedom United has been campaigning for the end of forced labour in Libya by calling on the European Union to cease its funding to the Libyan coastguard.
Stand with migrants like those rescued last week and add your name today.
37. The Word and the Common Good
Together for the Common Good have produced a short course of six 45 minute sessions to support the use of Scripture to reflect on the Common Good, to prompt people to build on community spirit and strengthen local relationships. During the Coronavirus crisis we are making this course available to download for free.
Also available from them is ‘Let’s continue to build community by pursing the Common Good. The sessions stimulate discussions framed around Common Good principles and help you develop an action plan together. They’re suitable for running online or face to face. Leadership of the group can be shared, so there’s no need for one person to do it all. This is a new resource we are offering to help people at this time – please try it. The Session Guide is free to download.
This resource is suitable for all and is designed for a mix of local people from different backgrounds, classes and political views. For example: neighbours, key workers, faith leaders, acknowledged community leaders and volunteers, local business leaders, local representatives of ‘agencies’ e.g. Local Authority, police, NHS, schools, people who have used the foodbank or other community services. The resource is intentionally written in non religious language to be inclusive for people of all faiths and none. Download it here.
38. Our Common Home – CAFOD’s new strategic framework
Taking its name from Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ – On Care for Our Common Home. This new framework offers staff, volunteers and external stakeholders a unifying vision and direction for CAFOD for the next ten years and beyond. It builds on 60 years of organisational history, working for and achieving local and global change together with the Catholic community in England and Wales and our partners across the world.
It builds on the best of what we do in reaching out and including the poorest, the most vulnerable and marginalised amongst us; always rooted in Gospel values. It also challenges us to redefine our understanding of progress and increase our focus on the interconnected cry of the earth and the cry of the poor and to work co-operatively in making this a reality.
This great resource is available to download here.
39. The Peace Museum – Vacancy for a Quaker Trustee
With origins in a Quaker Trust, 30 years ago, The Peace Museum has long valued its relationship with the Society of Friends, and the support we receive from Quaker Meetings and individuals.
Would you be interested in joining the Board of The Peace Museum?
We are currently looking to strengthen Quaker representation on The Peace Museum’s board of trustees. We require one, or possibly two, new trustees, familiar with the working of the Society of Friends and committed to the values of the Museum. Although not a prerequisite, we would be especially interested in expressions of interest from Quakers with a finance or fundraising background.
Based in Bradford, we are a national body, and we would welcome applications from across the country.
If you would like to know more about what being a trustee of The Peace Museum might involve, please contact Beryl Milner, email@example.com.
40. THE LAST WORD
This week’s piece comes from the CAFOD Theology Team: –
|Matthew 11: 25-30
This passage contains some of the most comforting words anywhere in the gospels. God’s message of love and concern are not just for those who study and analyse Jesus’ words, but for all who open themselves fully to the message of the gospels.
An open attitude of mind and heart are necessary to receive the gospel message and carry it out in our lives. In this way we may hope to glimpse the fullness of God and to deepen our own spiritual lives.
Jesus then brings to our attention those people upon whom poverty, slavery, exhaustion or deep sadness weigh heavily. Like Jesus, we must be prepared to take up and share these burdens.
In our own lives we become able to face – with Jesus’ help – our everyday trials and problems. By asking for his help, our spiritual lives are also transformed. Serving God is no longer onerous; instead joy and tranquility pervade our lives and our service.
|We pray, Creator God, that our lives may be of service to you and your people. May we bring about change in our world, in its attitude to those who are poor or struggling in so many ways to survive. Amen.
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