Seasonal Reflection: Lent, 2012
Let us be concerned for each other, to stir a response in love and good works.
Thus begins Pope Benedict XVI’s Lenten Message for 2012. This beautiful message reminds us that Lent is a “favorable time to renew our journey of faith, both as individuals and as a community.” It is a time to be “ever mindful of living a life of ‘love and good works’.” This scripture passage tells us, in effect, to “look at others…to be concerned for one another…to be ‘guardians’ of our brothers and sisters.” Doing so arouses within us a sense of “solidarity, justice, mercy and compassion.” Drawn out of ourselves, we desire what is good for all, especially the poor, to give, protect, and promote life.
Such concern for each other is at the heart of peace and justice. Pope Benedict XVI eloquently addressed this link in his 2012 World Day of Peace Message. He wrote:
In order to be true peacemakers, we must educate ourselves in compassion, solidarity, working together, fraternity, in being active within the community and concerned to raise awareness about national and international issues and the importance of seeking adequate mechanisms for the redistribution of wealth, the promotion of growth, cooperation for development and conflict resolution.
This Lent, let us resolve to show concern for one another by accepting our responsibility to be peacemakers, speaking out on behalf of the poor, sick, elderly, and victims of all forms of violence—“even when it involves swimming against the tide.”
Dear God, the harvest is plenty and the laborers are few.
Your people long for peace, they thirst for justice.
Send into our midst women and men whose hearts can embrace the entire world.
Send into our midst young and old whose arms can lift up the lowly and oppressed.
Send into our midst rich and poor who will walk with the powerless as they struggle for justice.
Send into our midst people of all color who can see a brother or sister in the eyes of a stranger.
Send us peacemakers, O God, send us your peace. Amen.
*Read Pope Benedict XVI’s 2012 World Day of Peace
Message and his Message for Lent, available at the
Vatican web site,
*Give what you can to relieve the suffering of others, whether in time, money, or both.
*Work for legislation that provides for those who are hungry, homeless, unemployed or underemployed, sick and without health care, or in any other way abandoned by a system designed to put profits ahead of people.
*Pray and petition for peace in and with
Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, Israel/Palestine, South
Sudan, and all the world where war and insurrection
rob people of their right to a nonviolent existence.