NOVEMBER 2019: SENT TO BUILD BRIDGES

INTRODUCTION
“On this World Day of the Poor, we are called to make a serious examination of conscience, to see if we are truly capable of hearing the cry of the poor. To hear their voice, what we need is the silence of people who are prepared to listen. If we speak too much ourselves, we will be unable to hear them.” (Pope Francis, World Day of the Poor Message, 2018).

Opening Prayer Invite a member of the BEC to say the opening prayer

OPENING HYMN
We are gathering together unto Him,
We are gathering together unto Him,
Unto Him shall the gathering of the people be,
We are gathering together unto Him.
We are offering together unto Him,
We are offering together unto Him,
Unto Him shall the gathering of the people be,
We are offering together unto Him.
We are praying together unto Him,
We are praying together unto Him,
Unto Him shall the gathering of the people be,
We are praying together unto Him.

DIALOGUE
Sushila Nagpure clearly remembers her first meeting with Sister Philomena Pichhappilly. Nagpure stood inside the door of her tin-shed-like home in a corner of a sprawling slum. The nun stood outside, talking to the resident, who was afraid to come out. “I was a timid woman, afraid to step out of my home on my own and did not know how to interact with people,” said the 56-year wife of a rickshaw puller in the slum near Nagpur, in the western Indian state of Maharashtra. That was 17 years ago when her family, and many thousands like them, lived in abject poverty. For Nagpure the income of only her husband, Santosh, was not enough even to feed the five-member family, including three children. The meeting with the nun was the beginning of change. “Today our lives have been transformed,” said Nagpure. There is a tailoring school for children in the slums, where 100,000 people live, as well as training opportunities for women. Sister Pichhappilly, a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Chambery, taught Nagpure and other women to become more self-reliant, rather that depending on the often-paltry incomes of their husbands. Some 5,000 women have been brought together through more than 120 self-help groups. “Now we don’t need to depend on our husbands for money, our children are going to schools and many talented children are doing their higher studies,” Napure said. And above all, we now fight for our rights.” According to Sister Pichhappilly she did not preach about Christianity, however, some residents developed a faith in Jesus despite not officially becoming members of the Church.
(Source: https://www.ucanews.com/news/indian-nun-lives-in-slum-to-work-for-the-rights-of-the-poor/80068)

Buzz with the person next to you.
Buzz a second time with another person.
In his 2018 message on the World Day of the Poor, what does Pope Francis mean when he says, “If we speak too much ourselves, we will be unable to hear them (the poor).” What lessons can we learn from the example of Sister Pichhappilly in her relationship with the poor.

DISCERNMENT
Lk 10, 35 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.’

Reflection:

  1. READ the text aloud and LISTEN with openness
  2. READ it silently by yourself until a word or phrase touches or strikes you. Write it down.
  3. REFLECT on ‘what the word/phrase says?’
  4. What is the Holy Spirit saying to me through the word or phrase that I chose? Write it down
  5. What do I say to the Lord in response to his Word? Write it down
  6. Share in small groups (3-4 persons).

DEEDS:

Jesus teaches us about going beyond ourselves and reach out to people in love to those who may be different from us – socially, religiously or economically.

  • What are some of the reasons why we find it difficult to reach out to people who poor or marginalised? How can we overcome these difficulties?
  • In this Extraordinary Missionary Year, what can the BEC do to reach out to those who are poor and marginalised in the neighbourhood?

Closing Prayer
Invite someone to say the concluding prayer

CLOSING HYMN
Make me a channel of your peace
Where there is hatred let me bring your love
Where there is injury, your pardon Lord
And where there’s doubt, true faith in you.

Make me a channel of your peace
Where there’s despair in life let me bring hope
Where there is darkness, only light
And where there’s sadness ever joy.

Oh, master grant that I may never seek
So much to be consoled as to console
To be understood as to understand
To be loved as to love with all my soul.

Make me a channel of your peace
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned
In giving to all men let we receive
And in dying that we’re born to eternal life.



 

 

Other Languages

This article is available in 3 other languages. Download from the link below: