This week has seen the headline that the Mediterranean is the grave of migrants, while in the last 5 days alone over 3,000 have been rescued from sinking people-smuggling boats escaping the chaos and fighting throughout the Middle East.
The freeze and massive snow falls in the northeastern states of the U.S. and Canada continue to cause chaos for millions.
In Argentina, thousands march to protest against their government and the killing of the prosecutor a month ago days before he was to give evidence about malpractice of the government.
Russia, providing weapons and forces to continue fighting, seems to be ignoring the peace agreement with Ukraine. The suffering of so many there and in other conflicts throughout the world seems never ending.
Traditional conservation policies try to separate people from nature but research in the Amazon rain forest reveals that for 11,000 years people have had a dynamic anthropogenic living relationship in the Amazon. Through sustainable farming, they improved soil composition in pockets where they lived which remains viable for hundreds of years. Yet, today, intensive farming methods on cleared land exhausts it within 3 years. Are we willing to listen, learn, and adapt our goals and modify our way of living?
Scientists have found that the teeth of the common limpet, a mollusk, which survives in the inter-tidal ranges of sea shores, have the greatest biological tensile strength in nature, stronger even than Kevlar. This opens up new ways of making materials without weak points prone to rupture or collapse. How wonderful is the world in which we live!
Whoever says that being a Christian is easy has never tried to accept Jesus’ invitation to “Follow me.” One thing is certain when we commit to doing this, we need to accept we will never be the same again. Change is inevitable, challenging, and promised. And so we pray based on I Corinthians 13:4-7:
“Love is patient.” God, how can we be patient when we experience or see injustice? Teach us to patient without being silent or inactive.
“Love is kind.” God, how can we be kind as we confront what is evil? Teach us to love our enemies however hard that is.
“Love is not jealous.” God, how can we not be jealous of those who have so much wealth or power or control? Teach us to keep our values straight.
“Love is not pompous.” God, how can we not be pompous when we are speaking truth to those who seem so wrong? Teach us to know how listen as much as we speak.
“Love is not inflated.” God, how can we not be inflated with righteousness in the cause of justice? Teach us to know our limits, that we make mistakes and that we don’t always see clearly.
“Love is not rude.” God, how can we be gracious but also committed to what is right? Teach us to respect all our sisters and brothers.
“Love does not seek its own interests.” God, how can we move beyond our own limits and desires and needs? Teach us to understand the needs and perspectives of others, especially the poor and oppressed.
“Love is not quick-tempered.” God, how can we learn from our anger? Teach us to learn from our strongest emotions.
“Love does not brood over injury.” God, how can we not get discouraged by all the hurts and injuries in our world? Teach us to move forward and get into action for what is right.
“Love does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.” God, how can we stop thinking of what helps ‘our side’ to win and the other side to lose? Teach us to practice a love that wants the truth to win for all people.
“Love bears all things.” God, how can we bear the stress of trying so hard to do what is right? Teach us to let go and to trust in your wisdom.
“Love believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” God, how can we possibly love? Teach us that we don’t love alone, but rather in community with you and with all our brothers and sisters.
“Love never fails.” God, how is it that we sometimes feel failure? How can we believe? Teach us to love with a heart as big as the world, to receive love, and to help with a big a heart.