Welcome to Wisdom Wednesday for March 3. Today we take a look ahead to Friday when Pope Francis makes an historic trip to Iraq and an inner look into Lent from several vantage points. We’ll learn what Benedict XVI thinks about Joe Biden, and we introduce an old but new feature. (Hint: It’s a video from our archives.)
National Catholic Reporter says a group of sisters there are hoping the pope’s visit to Iraq shows the world their country’s suffering. That is one story among several in a feature series about Pope Francis in Iraq.
The AUSCP has long supported just measures toward immigration reform. The Los Angeles Times reports that Presidents Biden and Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico have discussed expanding a visa program for Mexican workers as they sought to build a partnership to alleviate a persistent immigration crisis at their nations’ borders.
Writing in U.S.Catholic, Nicole M. Grosso invites us all to “Reclaim Lent after a year of suffering and death.” She discovers that the pandemic has mirrored the liturgical calendar.
In a self-authored reflection, AUSCP member Bob Wenz asks you to recall last Sunday’s Gospel (the Second Sunday of Lent) and reflect on the Transfiguration.
Maybe because there’s part of Peter in me and in each of us…faith filled and fear filled; courageous and cowardly; saint and sinner. People who need to grow in our belief and in our awe of the divinity within each of us, especially those WE think are the least of us.
Lastly, as many of us examine our consciences during Lent, here is an examination of the life and ministry of a woman who is considered the “conscience of the Catholic Church.”
Church news and Initiatives updates
Benedict XVI says his “conscience is clear” about resigning the papacy but that some of his “fanatical friends” are still unable to accept the decision. The pope emeritus is quoted in an article in the Tablet from the UK. About Biden, Benedict says:
“It’s true, he’s Catholic and observant. And personally, he is against abortion. But as president, he tends to present himself in continuity with the line of the Democratic Party.
(You will find more stories from a British point of view from The Tablet.)
Three actions you can take this week to make a difference
First, a call for democracy reform – Faithful America is coordinating an effort in support of House Resolution 1, the “For the People Act” to protect voting rights. If you agree that a functioning democracy protects the God-given dignity of every voter, here is your opportunity to sign up and tell your U.S. Representative.
Second, a pledge to care for creation – According to a recent announcement, “This will be a pivotal year for Catholic Climate Covenant.” A new youth program is being launched, as the group seeks “to integrate environmental sustainability into all sectors of the U.S. Catholic community,” and “to weave Laudato Si’ into seven ministries of our Church.” Find out how to take the “St. Francis Pledge” and link to a series of actions and resources.
Finally, JustFaith offers tons of online resources for reflecting, thinking and acting to build a more just and peaceful world. Sign up for their monthly email newsletter – it’s free!
A new Wisdom Wednesday feature!
This week we begin a new feature: An opportunity to use new eyes and ears to examine a video presentation from an AUSCP Assembly. This week we feature Greg Boyle, S.J. founder of Homeboy Industries, from our 2015 Assembly.
Homeboy Industries is the largest gang rehabilitation and re-entry program in the world, providing training and support to formerly gang-involved and previously incarcerated men and women, allowing them to redirect their lives and become contributing members of our community.
The system Boyle founded in 1988 is now the blueprint for more than 250 organizations around the world.
We hope you have enjoyed this roundup of recent news about faith, politics, and culture. We will return next week with another edition of Wisdom Wednesday.
Until next week, please follow us on social media with the buttons below to make sure you don’t miss the latest news from the AUSCP!