Born of the Earth, Rooted in the Stars
theme chosen by our small faith community for Lent this year is:
Born of the Earth, Rooted in the Stars. Everything of the earth,
including us, has the DNA of the Creator. We desire to look
at life through an expanded filter of origin and destiny. The
practice of attentive curiosity is key to increasing revelation. We ask
that our hearts and minds be open to new dimensions, new ways of
looking at things.
With this awareness, let us contemplate the Word proclaimed to us for the Third Sunday of Lent.
1st Reading is one of the “testings” of the wandering Israelites.
They are growing weary of desert wandering; they are tired; they are
thirsty. Miriam, one of their leaders has died and was
buried in what must have seemed like a God-forsaken land. What
would happen to them? Did God no longer care about them?
They complain bitterly to Moses and Aaron who, in turn, plead to YHWH
for help. YHWH says, “Go strike a rock.” Moses doubts that
will work, but does as directed and low and behold, water flows in this
the 2nd Reading the suffering of the desert journey gives way to
travelling the good road in the company of Jesus who is a proven
source of wisdom for the way. Living in right relationship with
God, both as individuals and communally, is marked with the principles
of peace and hope – the blessed assurance that all will be well, and
the confidence to pay kindness and compassion forward.
Gospel is a rich and beautiful unfolding of Jesus Messiah, not as
“Saviour” but as Revelation as the “I AM” first made known to Moses in
the burning bush. This story from the Johannine school can be
likened to the unfolding of a rose – petal by petal to reveal its
inmost secrets and increasing fragrance. Through the seven-part
dialogue (Remember 7 is a number for wholeness.) between Jesus and the
Woman at the Well, Wisdom Jesus is revealed as the courtier of the
human heart and the fulfillment of the deepest longings of not only the
woman, but the whole community whom she represents.
conversation is not idle chit-chat between the two, but an increasingly
intense theological dialogue. Step by step, petal by petal, the
encounter moves from physically coming to draw water at an ancestral
village well to a realization of a well-spring of eternal life found in
Jesus; and by the Spirit within, it is ours.
is important to note the communal aspect of all of the readings.
It is the community as Kadesh that complained and whose thirst was
satisfied. It is the Pauline community in Rome that is instructed
to find peace and hope in the Risen Christ. And it is the
Johannine community that is being challenged to see the inclusive
nature of the realm of Abwoon, (Abba, Father/Mother God).
Woman is the Gospel is not named; she represents the whole of the
people of Samaria. It is not Jew vs. Gentile vs. Samaritan.
It is beyond the limited views of any culture or nationality, or
religion. The Christ relationship includes everyone. Therein lies
the hope and peace as ethnic divisions that plagued the community are
put aside and all are treated as equals and respected as they worship
in “spirit and in truth.” This Gospel has the potential to
reveal, petal by petal, the heart of what it means to be One Humanity,
a community of equally important creatures of the Divine Creator.
We are each the imago Dei, and together this is even a more profound
reality. The world is the beloved, the Body of God. Born of
the Earth, Rooted in the Stars.
This is what’s missing from land acknowledgments
By Tony Snow, broadview.org | February 27, 2023
Performative rote acknowledgments lack something essential.
I reside in an area my people call Yethka Makoche. It’s the place of
origin for our Stoney Nakoda Assiniboine people. From here, we
travelled far to the north and south, across the great plains, to
discover the wisdom, teachings and languages of other peoples. Each
person we encountered was a gift from Creator, Wakan Tanka, the Great
Spirit, the Great Mystery. We formed relationships with these peoples
that are recalled in our Stoney Oral Tradition.
Powerful docuseries spotlights missing and murdered U. S. Indigenous women
Chris Byrd, ncronline.org | March 4, 2023
people, as the National Indian Council on Aging reports, according to
the U.S. Census, constitute 1.1% of the total U.S. population. Yet,
among some Native American tribes, Native women experience murder rates
10 times higher than the national average, the National Indigenous
Women's Resource Center reports.
Theological reflection on gender doesn't compete with Vatican II
Robert Shine, ncronline.org | October 31, 2022
The 60th anniversary of Vatican II's opening prompted a flurry of
commentaries in Catholic and secular outlets alike. The National
Catholic Reporter's Michael Sean Winters offered his perspective,
lining up clearly on the pro-conciliar team. Unfortunately, he also
used the opportunity to take a swipe at theological reflection on
gender, and he made an invective against issues related to nonbinary
people specifically. His swipe needs to be answered.
I agree with much of what Winters wrote: that Vatican II is still being
received by the church, and will continue to be for some time; that "in
[Pope] Francis' hands, [the council] seems young again"; that many of
the council's naysayers are simply a continuation of the "prophets of
doom" whom Pope John XXIII rejected.
Where I part ways with him, though, is when he takes a digression to
put theological reflection on gender in competition with the study of
Vatican II and disparages nonbinary people along the way.
|Parliament of the World's Religions
|Explore "The PoWR of Community" with the 2022 Annual Report|
On Thursday, February 16th the Parliament of the World's Religions released its 2022 Annual Report spotlighting “The PoWR of Community”
through an organizational overview of the critical work of PoWR's task
forces, working groups, committees, volunteers, and trustees in the
advancement of the organization’s mission and the success of the 2023 Parliament Convening in Chicago, USA.
History of the Parliament of the World's Religions
PoWR, parliamentofreligions.org | March 15, 2023
The Parliament of the World’s Religions cultivates harmony among the
world’s spiritual traditions and fosters their engagement with guiding
institutions in order to achieve a more peaceful, just, and sustainable
Its origins are rooted in the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in
Chicago, where the historic first convening of the World Parliament of
Religions created a global platform for engagement of religions of the
east and west.
Headquartered in Chicago, Il, USA, the Parliament of the World’s
Religions is an international 501(c)3 NGO affiliated with the United
Nations Department of Public Information.
Conferences held in:
Chicago, USA - 1893
Chicago, USA - 1993
Cape Town, South Africa - 1999
Barcelona, Spain - 2004
Melbourne, Australia - 2009
Salt Lake City, USA - 2015
Toronto, Canada - 2018
Online - 2021
Chicago, USA - 2023
TOWARDS A GLOBAL ETHIC:
An Initial Declaration of the Parliament of the World’s Religion
Wikipedia, en.wikipedia.org | March 15, 2023
a Global Ethic: An Initial Declaration" is a 1993 document by members
of the Parliament of the World's Religions that details ethical
commitments shared by many of the world's religious, spiritual, and
cultural traditions. It is the Parliament's signature document.
the request of the Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions,
Hans Küng, President of the Foundation for a Global Ethic (Stiftung Weltethos),
wrote an initial draft in consultation with fellow scholars and
religious leaders. The Council's leaders and Trustees then worked on
the draft in consultation with Küng and another extensive network of
leaders and scholars from various religions and regions. Most notable
in leading this effort were Daniel Gómez-Ibáñez, the Executive Director
of the Council, and Thomas A. Baima, a member of the Board of Trustees.
TOWARDS A GLOBAL ETHIC:
An Initial Declaration of the Parliament of the World’s Religions
Pope Francis has opened the door for real church reform, but hasn't stepped through
Richard Gaillardetz, ncronline.org | February 28, 2023
10th anniversary of the election of Pope Francis offers an opportunity
to consider the contributions and missteps of this remarkable
pontificate. As a comprehensive assessment is impossible, I will
consider the related contributions of this pontificate to the theology,
structure, and exercise of ministry and authority.
Does the Catholic Church really believe women are people?
Phyllis Zagano, uscatholic.org | March 2023
The following is an excerpt from Just Church: Catholic Social Teaching, Synodality, and Women by Phyllis Zagano (Paulist Press, 2023).
can seem simplistic to say that the life and dignity of people within
the Church begins with baptism and must be respected. But when the
Church makes statements that imply or directly state that women cannot
image Christ, the Risen Lord, there is much to be criticized.
it may seem incomprehensible in current times to say that women
cannot—do not—image Christ, this is the bedrock of the argument that
women cannot receive sacramental ordination. The implications of this
statement or belief are enormous. Its errors are equally enormous.
Trailblazing female theologian says Church holds back women
Lucie Sarr, international.la-croix.com | March 2, 2023
culture of patriarchy and hierarchy found in African society and the
Catholic Church tends to keep women from decision-making positions,
says Sister Sahon Solange Sia, the first woman from Ivory Coast to earn
a doctorate in theology."The prevailing attitude is that women cannot
lead," says the religious, a member of the Congregation of Our Lady of
Calvary in the West African country.
German bishops apparently ignore Vatican veto
Elise Ann Allen, cruxnow.com | Mar 1, 2023
the start of their spring plenary assembly, the leader of the German
bishops’ conference told reporters that they are essentially ignoring a
Vatican veto on a new governing body for the church in Germany, and
that plans are moving ahead regardless.
et l'espérance: diaporama du 40e anniversaire de Femmes et Ministères /
Boldness and Hope: Women and Ministries 40th Anniversary
15 minute PowerPoint presetation
Spécial 8 mars 2023
20 resources to
resist Christian nationalism
With hundreds of
far-right political candidates using Christ's name to deny election
results, demonize their opponents, and spread dangerous conspiracy
theories -- all with the blessing of pastors and televangelists --
Christian nationalism is the single biggest threat to both democracy
and the church today.
More and view videos, essays, websites,
Those who think the FBI is coming after traditional Catholics are being paranoid
Thomas Reese, ncronline.org | March 3, 2023
Richmond, Virginia, office of the FBI is worried about the interest
that racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists have taken in
radical-traditionalist Catholics, according to a leaked memo dated Jan.
Say This, Not That: A Guide for Inclusive Language
Kaela Sosa, thediversitymovement.com | September 9, 2020
🔊 Listen to this article
Inclusive language…what does it mean? Inclusive language means finding
ways to name, honor, and value experiences and identities. But before
inclusive language is possible, it is vital to understand the ways that
words and expressions can signal assumptions about people and
unintentionally reinforce dominant ideas about gender, sexual
orientation, race, class, ability and disability, age, and more.
Nations reach accord to protect marine life on high seas
Sam McNeil, english.elpais.com | March 5, 2023
the first time, United Nations members have agreed on a unified treaty
to protect biodiversity in the high seas – nearly half the planet’s
surface – concluding two weeks of talks in New York.
A Moment of Grace and Healing: One Year into the Synodal Process
Catherine Clifford, sacredheartuniversity.typepad.com
| November 11, 2022
On October 27, the Synod Office released a working document, entitled,
“Enlarge the Space of Your Tent,” a distillation of reports from 112 of
the 114 episcopal conferences, 15 Eastern Catholic Churches, 17 Roman
dicasteries, religious communities and lay movements on the synodal
process to date. The working document is intended to form the basis of
further reflections in seven continental ecclesial assemblies that will
gather between now and March of 2023.
Four women opt out of German Synodal Way, saying it ‘departs from the universal Church’
CNA Newsroom, catholicnewsagency.com
| February 22, 2023
Ahead of the German Synodal Way’s final meeting next month, four
prominent participants — all of them women — officially announced they
were quitting the controversial process on Wednesday.
The International Survey of Catholic Women
The International Survey of Catholic Women (ISCW) was undertaken in
2022 in response to the call for submissions to the 2021-2024 Synod of
Bishops themed ‘For a Synodal Church: communion, participation and
The ISCW: Analysis and report of key findings is based on the survey
findings drawn from 17,200 responses from women in 104 countries. The
survey instrument was available in 8 languages – English, Spanish,
German, Italian, French, Polish, Mandarin, and Portuguese.
The report outlines the central findings and recommendations of the
survey. A strength of the ISCW is that it captured the complex
diversity, insights, and shared concerns of thousands of Catholic women
from around the world.
Respondents came from a wide range of countries and language groups.
They held diverse standpoints which often reflected the cultural and
communal contexts within which their Catholic faith is experienced and
practised. Responses revealed their joys, frustrations, fears,
struggles, hopes, and dreams.
The report is available here
Homilies on the Sunday Readings of
the Roman Missal and the Revised Common Lectionary
the Sunday Readings
by Susan Roll
Reflections by David Jackson
Website of Saint Louis University