Some Sunday Masses in July and August include readings from the book of Exodus where Moses led his people to Canaan, a remarkable period of struggle, dryness and perseverance leading to the Promised Land; ‘the liberation of slaves and it is the choosing by God of the Israelites, a genuine liberation which concerns the whole human reality, individual and social.’
This account does not end only in the Bible. Many could liken their individual and social struggles to that Exodus. The human reality at some point reflects such. But who remains God’s chosen leader? You? Will you take this responsibility?
‘The call to become a Church of the Poor is a universal call, a universal concept. Where there are victims, the afflicted, the little ones, with them the Church is called to Be. To be a Church of the Poor is not just a preferential option, but a demand of our being the People of God.’ (Second Diocesan Synod -Bacolod) God has called each of us to partake in His mission. We can fulfill that mission in our own way, in our own backyard. You are given the opportunity to be one of those who can bring about change and produce the fruits of your noble profession.
God grant each of you the grace of fortitude and perseverance as you work in His vineyard.
Our cover shows the Negros Nine Logo bearing the map of Negros with the initials ‘KK’ which stand for Kristianong Katilingban, the cross signifying Catholicism. Behind is the photo of the Negros Nine members taken sometime in 1983 when they were in prison during Martial Law.
‘The story of the Negros Nine symbolizes the struggle of the poor for a better life in a safe and sustainable environment, ie, “total and integral human development.”’ The 25th anniversary of the release of the Negros Nine on 3 July 1984 will be celebrated with a Mass and program in Kabankalan City on 2 July.
Ask your students, ‘What is being evoked in the picture? What stories are you reminded of when we speak of Martial Law?’
International Meeting on WYD is an update on the impact before, during and after the most recent World Youth Day held in Sydney, Australia, and the planning for the next WYD in Madrid, Spain. Regional Youth Day is our local version of the World Youth Day. A high school student tells us what happened in the RYD in Kabankalan.
Have them read the articles. Ask representatives to report the important events to the class through ‘news-casting’. Facilitate a question-and-answer activity on the details of the articles.
Each has his own way of expressing his faith, much more with different cultures. Our missionaries in the stories had their own encounters with people so different from themselves yet found something common in their belief in God. Doing the work of God might be difficult but surely He grants consolation.
Have your students read the articles and ask the following questions:
a. Have you encountered persons of different beliefs from yourself?
b. How did you behave/react?
c. Given the stories as examples, what are you invited to do?
Emphasize respect for individual belief, religion and culture. This will also make good material for inter-religious faith-sharing.
Absence of Foresight: a Gift from God tells of how a young mind pondered on the giftedness of having no foresight without disregarding those who claim to have one. It’s an affirmation in the absence of such. Our letter sender in Your Turn shares with us her own story as she reflects on one of the previous articles, highlighting ‘in every darkness, there is light.’
With the inspiration of the above articles,
a. What struck you most?
b. Tell a story of your own misfortune or a loss that turned into a blessing.
c. Have you recognized God’s loving hand in that incident of your life?
The class can sing ‘I See You, Lord’ or ‘Something More’ inviting them to internalize the lyrics as well.
Dialogue of His Holiness Benedict XVI with the Children of the Pontifical Society of the Holy Childhood
Father Joeker can be used as an icebreaker and the Peace by Peace as something to ponder on. It’s good to be reminded sometimes of some quotes that can help us in our reflection. To Search is to Find discusses the issue on Church’s stand on clergymen running for political office, just in time for our upcoming 2010 national election. Dialogue of His Holiness Benedict XVI with the Children of the Pontifical Society of the Holy Childhood shares with us three brilliant questions addressed directly to our pope.
If children of a very young age care enough to ask the Pope about matters concerning faith, you too can formulate questions which you deem necessary. You can write them and email them firstname.lastname@example.org and we shall answer them as soon as we can. We will also use some of them, anonymously, in To Search is to Find.
Cardinal Kim finally rests in God’s dwelling place yet lives in the hearts of those people whose lives he touched. God has commissioned each of us ‘to build a world in accord with the Gospel’ and Cardinal Kim responded to it accordingly. His is a life of testimony of building a nation and fulfilling his vision of a ‘Church for the people, especially the marginalized.’
a. What is the quality of this man that makes him so loved by the people?
b. What lesson/s have you learned?
We are remembered by how we live our lives and by how much impact we have on the world.
c. How do you want to be remembered by others?
Introduce to the class the activity ‘Remember me this way’ in which each has to share a line of thought or a simple gesture that tells of how s/he wants to be remembered.
The many pressing issues of the country today seem to confront us with the question of how much have we contributed to our nation and how are we responding to God’s call for us ‘to go and bear fruit - fruit that will last.’
Awakened in the world of injustice and being victims of it, the Negros Nine have truly shown us how to ‘live the Gospel in a revolutionary situation.’ Theirs is a story of hope, justice, courage, transformation, freedom and liberation.
We have here an article from a surviving Negros Nine member, the widow of another and of her daughter, a Negros Nine baby. Given the articles coming from different experiences of one significant event,
Divide your class into three groups.
a. Let them re-live the situation described in their assigned article through a creative presentation.
b. Let each group highlight the lesson they have learned. How can they relate it to the present situation of our country?
c. Name some issues that are similar in struggles to that of the Negros Nine.
You can also invite them to visit the website www.negrosnine.com