by Sister Ann Rehrauer
As someone who often works with Church law, today's Gospel is a
gentle but clear reminder that law, even Church law, provide us
with guidelines for living, but they are not the maximum for which
we strive - they only give us the "bottom line."
That's true if we simply read the words of the law. But if we look beyond the words to the values that underlie the law we see much more. "Thou shalt not kill" prohibits the intentional taking of someone's life by murder or reckless driving. But the spirit of the law includes positive encouragement to safeguard and promote life; to help others to obtain the basic necessities of life; and the responsibility to care for our own health and person. The commandment reminds us that all life is precious.
In our day, we have become aware that abortion, violence, and physical abuse are threats to human life. More recently the issue of human trafficking of vulnerable people for sexual or economic profit has come to our attention - even here in the State of Wisconsin. Women and men, children and elders, and immigrants are trafficked and exploited sexually or economically or both, for the profit or pleasure of others.
The USCCB Committee on Immigration designated February 8, the feast of St. Josephine Bakhita, as a national day of prayer for survivors and victims of human trafficking. Our prayer should also lead us to a greater awareness and to join in action to combat this threat to life. For more information visit the USCCB website: www.usccb.org/stopslavery.
When we bring our gift to the altar this week, we also bring our prayer, concern, and action on behalf of the vulnerable members of our community.
Thanks, Ann, we need to do our part- in prayer and action.
May we all live the spirit of the law. Thank you, Sister Ann.
Thanks, too, Sr. Ann, for the reminder of how we bring to the Eucharistic celebration all of our prayers, works, joys & sufferings by including them in the Offertory - so that all of our living is offered to God!
You do such a loving action, Ann, by always pointing us to the value beyond the law. It's so easy to get caught up into 'legalism' and forget the person(s) involved. Thanks for the reminder of awareness.
" help others obtain the basic necessities of life" is becoming more critical with the increase of homeless people including homeless children. Thank you Sister Ann for your reflection.