Saint Mary's Press winner for the week of April 16, 2012
Congratulations to Michael Drake!
Michael will receive a copy of Breakthrough! The Bible for Young Catholics, a $20.95 value.
As the title suggests, Breakthrough! The Bible for Young Catholics highlights what happens throughout salvation history between God and humanity. God breaks through and connects with human history, thereby establishing a relationship with humanity.
Using the Good News translation, Breakthrough! The Bible for Young Catholics was created for young people leaving childhood and entering adolescence. Its ten special features were created to help make the Bible easier for young people to read and understand.
They will learn about the great people of the Bible, and will see how God has been breaking through in human history and connecting with humanity for thousands of years. Most important, they will discover, in the Bible, how God's messages to key people of faith have meaning for life today.
Breakthrough! The Bible for Young Catholics
ISBN: 978-0-88489-862-7, paper, 1,968 pages
Focus on Faith
"Vocation of the Business Leader: A Reflection"
John F. Kennedy is credited with once saying, “We must do all that we can to give our children the best in education and social upbringing—for while they are the youth of today, they shall be the leaders of tomorrow.” With that in mind, I would like to share with you a resource that, though not originally intended for young people, I believe to be a wonderful tool for helping students prepare for their future role as leaders in the business world.
Earlier this month the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace released the document “Vocation of the Business Leader: A Reflection .” This document, intended to help business leaders connect their lived faith with their work practices, presents in a compelling and efficient way the obligation we all share to have our faith inform and shape the manner in which we work. The document includes an appendix titled “A Discernment Checklist for the Business Leader,” which presents a series of questions to reflect on and discuss that relate to the connection between faith, work, and leadership in the business world.
For Catholic high schools, having students read and discuss this document as part of the economics or business class curriculum is a wonderful way to provide a cross-curricular connection to what they are learning in their theology classes. Additionally, this is something that can be shared with alumni as a way to offer continued faith development after graduation. For a parish, this document could be used as part of a youth group discussion on the ways in which we are called to live our faith when we walk out the doors of the church on Sunday.
It seems like every few days we hear about situations of unethical business practices, hostile work environments, or abuses of power. By taking time with our young people to explore how faith is not separate from, but instead something we are called to bring into, the business world, we can help them develop into the “leaders of tomorrow” that will work for a just society. I pray that you are having a wonderful Easter season, and as always, I pray that God will continue to bless you and your ministry.
Make It Happen
From Living Justice and Peace: Catholic Social Teaching in Practice Teaching Manual
In this activity, the students reflect on the importance of using one’s gifts and talents in the workplace.
1. Ask the students to discuss the following questions in pairs:
• How would the experience of working forty hours a week in a boring job affect your life, as compared to working the same amount of time in a job you love?
• In a given company or business, what percentage of workers do you think have a job they really enjoy?
Invite the students to share their reactions with the class.
2. Pass out handout 6–C, “The Work of Art,” to the students. Ask them to discuss the story and the questions with their partner.
3. Discuss the handout questions with the students. Ask them to reflect on the importance of creativity and enjoyment on the job. Invite them to talk about what they would enjoy doing in an “ideal” job. Would they be willing to get paid less to do something they enjoyed?
4. Invite the students to explore the impact of promoting human dignity this way on the job. Ask, What might a business look like if it said that its employees would use their gifts in an enjoyable way? (Could you adjust the pay scale so that people in the most boring jobs were paid more? Could you change a business so that everyone was able to share in the interesting and the less interesting tasks?) Help the students identify exactly what kind of job is rewarded financially in our culture. Then ask, How is the current method of determining salaries connected with other justice issues?
Break Open the Word
Third Sunday of Easter
April 22, 2012
Jesus, just as you made known your presence on that first Easter Sunday when you suddenly appeared in the midst of your disciples, we pray we will recognize your presence here among us as we share your word. Lord, give us minds willing to seek the truth, and hearts open to embracing the truth. We pray this in your name, Jesus. Amen.
This Sunday's Gospel begins with two disciples finishing their story of meeting Jesus on the road to Emmaus. (You might want to read Luke 24:13-35 to gain a better understanding and context for this story.) After their encounter with Jesus, these two disciples returned to Jerusalem and were sharing their amazing experience with other disciples, when suddenly Jesus stood in their midst and greeted them with his now familiar words, "Peace be with you."
In using his common greeting, Jesus was saying, "Hey, it's me. Don't be frightened, for I am not a ghost but rather your friend, Jesus. Just touch my hands and feet, examine me, and you will really know that it is me. A ghost does not have flesh and bones. I died and have risen." Give close attention to verse 39 where Jesus stresses that indeed he, Jesus, the one and only, stands before them.
To further prove he is the risen Jesus and not a ghost, Jesus asks for something to eat, and the disciples give him some fish. He eats it. No ghost could eat real food! At this, the disciples' disposition moves from being terrified to being amazed and filled with joy. Jesus, their teacher, was again with them.
Why does Luke recount the story of the disciples' touching and examining Jesus's hands and feet and of Jesus's eating fish in this passage? Luke wants his readers, us and all those before and after us, to know that the resurrected body of Jesus was real. He does so for our sake, to help our belief.
Once Jesus had reconnected with his disciples and they understood that Jesus really was standing before them, they were receptive to a new way of understanding Jesus's teachings. What Jesus now said about the Law of Moses and the prophets and the Psalms had new meaning, for Jesus's words had been fulfilled through his death and Resurrection. Jesus helped them understand everything they had learned both before and after they had met him. What they knew in their heads as knowledge, they now knew in their hearts, because it had come true in Jesus, and because they definitively knew that Jesus was the Messiah. Because of the events of the last three days, they knew and understood more fully that the Messiah was destined to suffer and rise from the dead.
Confident that his disciples now comprehended the significance of the past three days, Jesus tells them they are and will be his witnesses now and into the future. They are witnesses of Christ in our day, and so are we when we act as witnesses of these events to other people.
These events, Jesus's Passion, death, Resurrection, and appearances, in their deepest meanings, reveal God's heartfelt wish to again be united with all peoples through the forgiveness of sin.
These passages from Luke are reflected in the Nicene Creed that we pray each Sunday as a faith community:
For our sake he [Jesus] was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered, died, and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in fulfillment of the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven and is seated
at the right hand of the Father.
(Catechism of the Catholic Church, page 49)
We believe Jesus's Resurrection is the fulfillment of the promises of the Old Testament and of those given to us during Jesus's earthly life. By his death, Jesus liberated us from sin, and by his Resurrection, Jesus opened to us a new way of life because he had restored God's grace in us. Jesus restored the intended relationship between God and humankind from the time of creation. Now we, as a faith community, can look forward with confidence that we too will experience a like resurrection. See also Paul's explanation of resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15:20-24.
The Paschal mystery has two aspects: by his death, Christ liberates us from sin; by his Resurrection, he opens for us the way to a new life. This new life is above all justification that reinstates us in God's grace, "so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life."1 Justification consists in both victory over the death caused by sin and a new participation in grace.2 It brings about filial adoption so that men become Christ's brethren, as Jesus himself called his disciples after his Resurrection: "Go and tell my brethren."3 We are brethren not by nature, but by the gift of grace, because that adoptive filiation gains us a real share in the life of the only Son, which was fully revealed in his Resurrection. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 654)
The Paschal mystery is at the core of each of the sacraments of the Church. Even though it is an event in history, it is present each time we celebrate a sacrament, giving new life to those who participate. The activity of salvation made manifest in the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ continues to impart grace on those who believe and participate in the various liturgies of the Church.
In the liturgy of the Church, it is principally his own Paschal mystery that Christ signifies and makes present. During his earthly life Jesus announced his Paschal mystery by his teaching and anticipated it by his actions. When his Hour comes, he lives out the unique event of history which does not pass away: Jesus dies, is buried, rises from the dead, and is seated at the right hand of the Father "once for all."4 His Paschal mystery is a real event that occurred in our history, but it is unique: all other historical events happen once, and then they pass away, swallowed up in the past. The Paschal mystery of Christ, by contrast, cannot remain only in the past, because by his death he destroyed death, and all that Christ is--all that he did and suffered for all men--participates in the divine eternity, and so transcends all times while being made present in them all. The event of the Cross and Resurrection abides and draws everything toward life. (Catechism, paragraph 1085)
Luke stresses an important point in this passage. This person who appeared in the midst of the disciples was truly Jesus, the same Jesus they had lived with and learned from over the past three years. There is, however, an evident transformation because of his resurrected state. Jesus was apparently not bound by time or space. And today as believers we experience him as present to his followers in the world in the same way he was present to the disciples on that first Easter evening. Do we recognize the presence of Jesus when we encounter it?
See also the Live It article "Jesus Is With Us!" near Luke 24:13 in The Catholic Youth Bible®.
The scriptural quotations contained herein are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Catholic Edition. Copyright © 1993 and 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. All rights reserved.
The quotations labeled Catechism are from the English translation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church for use in the United States of America, second edition. Copyright © 1994 by the United States Catholic Conference, Inc.--Libreria Editrice Vaticana. English translation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church: Modifications from the Editio Typica copyright © 1997 by the United States Catholic Conference, Inc.--Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Used with permission.
The Lord's Prayer is taken from Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers. Copyright © 1988 by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Inc., Washington, DC. All rights reserved.
Endnotes Cited in Quotations from the Catechism of the Catholic Church
1. Romans 6:4; cf. 4:25.
2. Cf. Ephesians 2:4-5; 1 Peter 1:3.
3. Matthew 28:10; John 20:17.
4. Romans 6:10; Hebrews 7:27; 9:12; cf. John 13:1; 17:1.
Copyright © 2009 by Saint Mary's Press, 702 Terrace Heights, Winona, MN 55987-1318, www.smp.org. All rights reserved. No part of this newsletter may be reproduced by any means without the written permission of the publisher. Thank you.
Saint Anselm of Canterbury
April 21 is the memorial for Saint Anselm of Canterbury.
Anselm was born in Italy in 1033. He wished to enter religious life, but his father would not allow him to. In 1056 he fled to France, and he became a Benedictine monk in 1060. In 1092 he was chosen to serve as Archbishop of Canterbury. Over the next fourteen years, he was twice exiled from England over disputes with the king concerning ecclesial authority and rights. Anselm is regarded as one of the great theologians of the Middle Ages and was recognized as a Doctor of the Church in 1720.
For more information about Saint Anselm of Canterbury, go to http://saints.sqpn.com/saint-anselm-of-canterbury/.