PRAYER - STUDY - ACTION
FIRST WEEK OF LENT
March 1-7, 2020

 

Throughout the season of Lent, we will be sharing with you resources to pray, study and act for peace with justice. Lent is a particularly good time of the liturgical year to do outreach to our church communities and beyond, engaging our sisters and brothers in the "peace of Christ" through opportunities for prayer, study and action. Many within our communities will be looking for opportunities to connect their prayer, fasting and almsgiving--traditional practices during the Lenten season--with issues and concerns that affect our world. Pax Christi members and local groups are particularly well-situated to help make those connections and extend invitations. 

In addition to these weekly PSA (Pray-Study-Act) e-bulletins, we have set up a special Lenten webpage with more resources which we hope will deepen the experience of Lent for you, your family, your local group and your larger faith community. The PSAs will typically be sent out on Tuesday or Wednesday of the week prior to the week for which they are designed. These, as well as the weekly reflections from current and past Pax Christi Lenten booklet authors (like today's from Jim Forest), will be archived alongside additional resources on our Lent 2020 page.

We hope that the peace of Christ dwells deeply in your hearts during this Lenten season.  

In peace,

Johnny Zokovitch
Executive Director, Pax Christi USA
PRAYER

This is the fast that pleases me: to break unjust fetters,
to let the oppressed go free, to share your bread with the hungry
and shelter the homeless poor.

If you do away with the yoke, the clenched fist, the wicked word,
if you give your bread to the hungry and relief to the oppressed,
your light will rise in the darkness. (Isaiah 58:6-7, 10)

All praise be yours, God our Creator,
as we wait in joyful hope
for the flowering of justice
and the fullness of peace.
All praise for this day, this season.
By our weekly fasting and prayer
cast out the spirit of war, of fear and mistrust,
and make us grow hungry for human kindness, thirsty for solidarity
with all the people of your dear earth.
May all our prayer, our fasting and our deeds
be done in the name of Jesus. Amen.

(Source: Archdiocese of Chicago)
STUDY

A reflection for the First Sunday of Lent, March 1
by Jim Forest


All these kingdoms I will bestow on you if you prostrate yourself in homage before me. ~Matthew 4:10

Jesus's last temptation was to trade worship for power. Satan is shown as a power broker. His message: "Center your life on the prince of worldly power, and I will let you share in this power."

Making the border crossing into Lent is an opportunity to leave the centers of power behind and to surrender powerful ambitions. At first glance, it seems like opting for weakness. Satan shows Jesus "all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence" - an impressive, vast, dazzling vision. But the problem with long-distance viewing is that the huge swallows up the tiny. From the top of the Empire State Building, human beings look like ants. From the height of a satellite, a city looks like an ant hill. Human beings are lost in the dust...

ACTION


1. Now is the time to start planning a "Way of the Cross" for Good Friday (or anytime throughout Lent). Traditionally, many Pax Christi USA local groups plan and stage a "Way of the Cross" event on Good Friday, connecting the sufferings of Christ during his passion with the suffering of our brothers and sisters at the hands of violence, racism, greed, poverty, exclusion and war. You can find resources for groups interested in undertaking a Way of the Cross in their community at this link. Also please let us know if you have a Way of the Cross planned in your community and we'll list it with contact information on the page. Email Johnny at jzokovitch@paxchristiusa.org with the details. 

2. Join the Interfaith Immigration Coalition's #Faith4Asylum campaign!  The campaign's goal is to better ensure safety, care, and humanization of people fleeing danger and seeking asylum by increasing asylum acceptance and ending the Remain in Mexico (MPP) policy. Join the campaign by clicking here and taking the pledge. And look out for a national call-in day to Congress this week on March 5! (from CMSM's JP Alert)
Thanks for making the commitment to pray, study and act for peace with justice this Lent! If you have the means and can make a contribution to help support Pax Christi USA, you can click here to do so. Thank you!