Prayers

A Reflection on Global Solidarity

Reader 1
"Then the LORD asked Cain, 'Where is your brother Abel?' He answered, 'I do not know. Am I my brother's keeper?" The LORD then said: 'What have you done? Your brother's blood cries out to me from the soil!' "
— Genesis 4:9-10
Reader 2
"Cain's question, 'Am I my brother's keeper?', has global implications and is a special challenge for our time, touching not one brother but all our sisters and brothers. Are we responsible for the fate of the world's poor? Do we have duties to suffering people in far-off places? Must we respond to the needs of suffering refugees in distant nations? Are we keepers of the creation for future generations? For the followers of Jesus, the answer is yes."
— U.S. Bishops, Called to Global Solidarity

Leader
We gather here today to reflect on our call to global solidarity. The nature of this call is a challenging one. When we cannot seem to adequately address all the problems of even our own neighborhoods, how can we begin to take responsibility for the immense problems that face the world at large? And yet, when we see the face of a dying infant in Cameroon; a mother without AIDS medication in Kenya; or the disfigurement of a war survivor in Iraq, a voice deep within lets us know that these persons, too, are our brothers and sisters and their "blood" — their suffering — cries out to God.

I invite you to pause for a moment in silence and call to mind the faces of suffering persons from around the world that have touched you in your life — perhaps persons that you have met through travel or study, perhaps faces known only through watching the news or reading. I invite you to hold these persons in prayer as you might hold a brother or a sister in need. (Pause for silence)

Loving God, you are the God who is not silent in the face of suffering. You are the God who hears the cries of those oppressed by violence, pain, and poverty. And, you open our ears to this cry as well. As we come before you this day, stretch our hearts to embrace with compassion not only those persons that we have now called to mind but indeed all the persons of this earth. Make our hearts as wide as the world, as fathomless as your own heart.

And when we hear the plea of our sisters and brothers in far away places…

All
Show us how you would have us say 'yes.'

Leader
When we hear their anguish and suffering…

All
Show us how you would have us say 'yes.'

Leader
When we hear of injustice done against them…

All
Show us how you would have us say 'yes.'

Leader
O God, until that day when you have wiped every tear away…

All
Show us how you would have us say 'yes.'