The Family of Life

Leader
God of every human longing. You have fashioned us as many cultures and many peoples...

All
We pray for harmony among nations and justice for all peoples.

READING
Second Essential Element of the Common Good: Social Well-being and Development of the Group (taken from the Catechism of the Catholic Church)

Second, the common good requires the social wellbeing and development of the group itself. Development is the the epitome of all social duties. Certainly, it is the proper function of authority to arbitrate, in the name of the common good, between various particular interests; but it should make accessible to each what is needed to lead a truly human life: food, clothing, health, work, education and culture, suitable information, the right to establish a family, and so on.

RESPONSE
An African Call for Life (each table will read a stanza)

God, who gives us strength of body, make us whole. Wholeness of persons: wellbeing of individuals. The cry for bodily health and spiritual strength is echoed from person to person, from patient to doctor. It goes out from a soul to its pastor.

We, busy, "normal" people: we are sick. We yearn to experience wholeness in our innermost being: in health and prosperity, we continue to fell un-well, un-fulfilled, or half-filled. There is a hollowness in our pretended wellbeing: our spirits cry out for the wellbeing of the whole human family.

We pride ourselves in our traditional communal ideology, our extended family. The beggars and the mad people in our streets: Where are their relatives? Who is their father? Where is their mother?

We cry for the wholeness of humanity. But the litany of brokenness is without end. Black and white; rich and poor; Hausa and Yomba; Presbyterian and Roman Catholic: we are all parts of each other, we yearn to be folded into the fullness of life—together.

Life, together with the outcast, the prisoner, the mad woman, the abandoned children; our wholeness is intertwined with their hurt. Wholeness means healing the hurt, working with Christ to heal the hurt, seeing and feeling the suffering of others, standing alongside them. Their loss of dignity is not their loss: it is the loss of our human dignity, we busy "normal" people.

The person next to you: with a different language and culture, with a different skin or hair color, it is Go's diversity, making an unbroken rainbow circle. Our covenant of peace with God, encircling the whole of humanity. There is only God at work in the whole; heal the sores on the feet; salvage the disintegrated personality; bind the person back into the whole.

All
For without that one, we do not have a whole. Even if there are ninety-nine: without that one, we do not have a whole. God, who gives us strength of body, make us whole. For, gathered in love in the family of life, we are one sacred community.
—Taken from Oman, Maggie, ed., Prayers for Healing.

RESPONSE
"All One People" (refrain only)
Drawn by a Dream. Dan Schutte, OCP Publications, Portland, OR.

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