Day 3 – Founder’s Week

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November 28, 2013 en Français ⎪ PDF

Pray

It is through your life of gospel witness

lived in community with others

that God desires to manifest

care and compassionate love

to those who are separated and estranged,

not only from their neighbors,

but also from their own uniqueness;

to those who suffer

from want, neglect, and injustice:

the poor, the weak, and the oppressed

of this world.

They too are called

to experience,

express,

and share

the love of God with the world

through their own giftedness.

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Today’s gospel describes the cure of the ten lepers whose cry of “Have pity on us” brought Jesus to their aid. It is hard for me to imagine the pain and suffering of the leper, as well as the injustice of being an outcast from society. When I think of the times in my life when I thought I was experiencing anxiety and pain, it seems trivial by comparison. Yet, all human existence is fraught with challenge, and for many people, it is fraught with unexplainable suffering. However, with the leper who returned to give thanks, Christian believers must know two things: God as creator of the universe permits these challenges, and God as our savior is with us through them. Jesus gave us a clear witness to being with us in suffering in his agony in the garden and his death on the cross.

In today’s world, as we observe the suffering of people of the Philippines, the homeless in our streets, those who suffer injustice in all parts of the world, it is also our challenge to demonstrate our faith not only through that belief of God suffering with us, but also “through our life of Gospel witness…to manifest care and compassionate love” to those most in need.

As we celebrate Thanksgiving today, let us remember that we are called to give thanks not only for our bounty, but for the gift of giving witness to our faith. True thankfulness to God comes at times when life does not feel perfect, yet our faith asks us to move beyond our personal weaknesses to be in service to others. As the cry of the lepers called Jesus to service, let us give thanks today for those who give us the opportunity to give witness to our faith.

~Alice Hession

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1. Recall a time when you were challenged to leave behind your own suffering and anxiety to give service to others.

2. How did this experience challenge and inspire your own faith?

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