Samuel 2:1-10; Hebrews 10:11-25; Mark 13:1-8
Hannah did not have children. She prayed and God heard her prayer and gave her a son. Remembering God’s mercies, Hannah offered a prayer of thanks as follows:
My heart rejoices in the Lord; In the Lord, my horn is lifted high. Those who were full hire themselves out for food;
But those who were hungry are hungry no more. She who was barren has borne seven children; but she who has had many sons pines away.
The Lord brings death and makes alive;
He brings down to the grave and raises up.
The Lord sends poverty and wealth; He humbles and he exalts.
He raises the poor from the dust; and lifts the needy from the ash heap.
Here, we see that Hannah speaks of a God who does not differentiate between rich-poor, men-women, strong-weak, and wise-foolish. All are equal in the eyes of God. Humankind creates misunderstandings through their selfishness, hatred, jealousy, egoism and power. God’s vision is that of welcome for all: humans create divisions along lines of class, caste, race, creed and gender.
In Hebrew 10:11-25, we see the covenant between humankind and God. God says, “I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds“. We are liberated and saved by God to lead and live flourishing lives in the society characterised by goodness. We may not always live up to this vision, hence the need to know God’s renewal, forgiveness and trust. In Mark 13:1-8, while the disciples of Jesus may have been absorbed in appreciating the splendour of the temple, Jesus points to the destruction of the temple. Followers of the Jesus way are ‘living stones’ with the stone rejected as worthless turning out to be the most important stone chosen by God.
Life-flourishing societies is about a life of equality and justice. It means to walk with God, to lead a simple life filled with love, compassion, forgiveness, righteous living and working for full life for all. Flourishing Societies means to follow Jesus in all our ways and deeds. This is the real kingdom of God.
-Prema Sarojini, CWM Board of Directors
Creator God, your good work for the whole creation has been destroyed by injustice and pollution. People are suffering from floods, famines and cyclones in many parts of the world. We are facing problems of racism and casteism. God who saves, strengthen the hands of those who work for justice, peace and reconciliation in society. Help us to renew and transform creation in the name of Jesus through whom you offer full and abundant life for all.
Solidarity and Advocacy
We may be able to see the injustices happening around us. That we may see how the existing system is only just and fair to those in power. May we be able to see through the guise of pseudo-nationalism the prejudice, hate, and discrimination against the “other”.
We may be able to hear the cries of the indigenous peoples who lost their lands and their lives; of the women and children, of the LGBTQI+ community and people of colour repeatedly abused by circumstances and the system.
We may be able to smell the stench of the blood of the victims of the extra-judicial killings and of the Desaparecidos (those who have “disappeared”).
We may be able to be sensitive to our neighbours’ needs. That through our own way, we may provide a reassuring and healing touch to one another.
You, Lord will use our voice to form one voice in unity and solidarity with them. Praying that in doing so, we will give a deafening cry and that maybe, finally, the world will listen.
Ang lahat hang ito ay itinataas namin sa iyong Dakilang Pangalan Panginoon, kasama ang iyong Banal na Inang si Maria. Amen.
(We lift these prayers in your Mighty name, Our Lord and God, with our Blessed Mother, Mary. Amen.)
-Maria Fe (Peachy) Labayo, Council for World Mission