Think of a time when a personal hardship equipped you to better serve your community. What did you learn? Who helped you through those challenging moments? What insight did that hardship give you into the hardships of others, and how have you been moved to live a more compassionate life? Where did you encounter Christ?
REFLECTIONS FROM POPE FRANCIS:
“We are always capable of going out of ourselves towards the other. Unless we do this, other creatures will not be recognized for their true worth; we are unconcerned about caring for things for the sake of others; we fail to set limits on ourselves in order to avoid the suffering of others or the deterioration of our surroundings. Disinterested concern for others, and the rejection of every form of self-centeredness and self-absorption, are essential if we truly wish to care for our brothers and sisters and for the natural environment. These attitudes also attune us to the moral imperative of assessing the impact of our every action and personal decision on the world around us. If we can overcome individualism, we will truly be able to develop a different lifestyle and bring about significant changes in society.” (Laudato Si’, 208)
FOR PRAYERFUL CONSIDERATION:
Human beings are called to be in community, but we sometimes forget that we succeed and fail together. How can you welcome those who suffer into your community more intentionally? How might you be responsible for the suffering of others in your community—and in our global human family? What themes of community resonated with you from the story from Mexico?
PROCESS: Naming Our Community
In his address to the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit, Pope Francis reminded us that, “No one loves a concept, no one loves an idea. We love persons.” Bring to mind the names of those individuals in your community who are suffering in some way. Bring to mind the names of those individuals who have helped you in moments of hardship. Say their names aloud and pray for them.
CLOSING PRAYER: God of all people, may we never forget that we are one human family.