In 2005, solidarity was identified by the United Nations as one of the fundamental values that should characterize relationship between peoples. Solidarity has also been a foundation of Catholic Social Teaching for the past century. Solidarity attempts to deepen our resolve to truly feel responsible for the wellbeing of all our brothers and sisters.
During this season of Advent, we have many examples of an individual figure in Scripture sharing in the very being of another.
- Elizabeth allows Mary's joy to become her own.
- Mary is told that her heart will be pierced because of the connection she will have with her Son.
- John the Baptist devotes his life to being his cousin's keeper, preparing His way.
- And most significant of all – God becomes Incarnate, an act of divinity sharing in humanity in a way that changes the world forever.
Each embodies the depth of connection we hope for in promoting solidarity; where we go beyond the superficial to cultivate a shared sense of commitment to the other's flourishing.
- How might I cultivate a stronger sense that my life is bound to the lives of those I encounter this day?
- How might I cultivate a stronger sense that my life is bound to the lives of those halfway around the world?
In the Book of Genesis, God asks Cain, "Where is Abel your brother?" Cain responds with a lie and a question. "I do not know. Am I my brother's keeper?" For each of us, the answer to that question is a resounding "Yes!" We are our brothers' and sisters' keepers. Let us look to our God for the grace to do so with continued purpose.
For those suffering afflictions of body and mind, especially those with few resources
Make their concern, my concern
Make their hope, my hope
For the victims of human trafficking and slavery of all kinds
Make their pain, my pain
Make their courage, my courage
For the children and elderly who face this world alone
Make their loneliness, my loneliness
Make their resolve, my resolve
For those with few prospects of employment who struggle to provide for their family
Make their despair, my despair
Make their strength, my strength
For those whose world is marked by war and violence
Make their fear, my fear
Make their faith, my faith
May we each grow in the conviction that we are our brothers' and sisters' keeper.