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  • Fr. John Jennings

Our Sacred Stories ~ Our Faith: In God and in Us

Our world is a fractured one in so many areas.  The people of Gaza, Ukraine, Sudan, Myanmar, Yemen and many other parts of our world are facing lives disrupted by war and conflict today.  In fact, the United Nations reports that conflict is on the rise in the last few years.  We long for peace and an end to conflict.


This longing for peace is one of the central dreams of our faith.  Repeatedly, Jesus calls upon his disciples to live together in peace.  He passes on to them the gift of the Spirit that they may grow more and more to be like him and that they may have peace among them.  As John describes Jesus preparing his disciples for his coming death and resurrection, he reassures them with these words: The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each one to his home, and you will leave me alone.  Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me.  I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace (Jn.16:32).  Peace lies at the center of our Christian faith and discipleship.


In Canada, the 5th Sunday of Lent has long focused on our pursuit of peace in our world.  The Canadian Organization for Development and Peace, partners with Caritas International.  It is our faith community’s way of working to build peace around the Globe.  Through assisting in local communities it promotes their economic and social development.  The development of strong local communities is seen as a way to promote global peace from the ground up.


Such an approach builds a real faith that expresses the bond between God and all creation, one that rests in the heart of every human being.  On this Sunday, we hear the call to recognize this bond and to stand in solidarity with all of humanity holding the same dream for peace among us all and development that supports all.

               

What we believe, our faith, expresses who we are.  It is, in so many ways, written on our hearts.  This is what we hear in the words of the prophet Jeremiah (Jer.31:31-34):  I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God and they shall be my people.  God loves us, all of us, all the time.  God believes in us, trusts us.  Can we believe in one another?

                 

A few years ago, on Solidarity Sunday, we received a creed, expressing this universal faith relationship with God and with all peoples.  It came from a Christian community in Indonesia.  Their creed is our creed.  Their way of living faith, trust and love is our way as well.

 

We believe in God, Creator of us all, who has given the earth to all people.

We believe in Jesus Christ, who came to encourage us and to heal us,

to deliver us from oppression, to proclaim the peace of God to all humanity.

Christ has given himself to our world,

it is amongst all people that the Lord lives – the living God….

We dare to believe, always and everywhere, in a new humanity,

in God’s own dream of a new heaven and a new earth,

where justice and peace will flourish.  Amen.

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