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Two Feet of Love in Action

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,

because he has anointed me…to bring glad tidings to the poor…

to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind.  

To let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.”

Isa 61:1-2 & Lk 4:18-19

 

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Walking With God

Scripture is filled with parables of “walking.”  The Lord, the Great Shepherd, walks with David through the valley of the shadow of death {Ps 23:4}.  In the Gospel of John {Jn 5:8}, Jesus brings spiritual and physical healing to a man ill, saying famously “Rise, take up your pallet, and walk.”  And later, St. Paul reminds us that faith moves us when obstacles abound:  “for we walk by faith, not by sight {2 Cor 5:7}.”

 

“Two Feet” of Love in Action

Inspired by this allegory of walking, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops {USCCB}, encourages Christians to walk with “two feet of love in action.”  Social Outreach is made up of two distinct, yet complementary, actions:  ‘Charitable Works’ and ‘Social Justice.’  These are the two feet upon which we walk.

Parishes are called to reach out to our suffering sisters and brothers with open arms.  SJN seeks to create opportunities for direct service and outreach – service and outreach bringing           the light of Christ to the poor.  These opportunities make up the first foot – the ‘Charitable Works’ foot – and help us to walk in solidarity with those among us most in need.

Social justice places {1} the value and dignity of the human person, and {2} the common good, above all other values and goods.

Systems, cultures, and wealth – according to Catholic social teaching – are meant to serve people, not the other way around.  This order often falls out of whack, and social justice seeks to flip it back.  Through ongoing education, legislative advocacy, and community organizing, we walk in the way of ‘Social Justice,’ the second foot of love in action.

 

The Heart

But in order to walk, we need more than just feet, right?  We need a heart, which pumps blood and delivers oxygen & nutrients to the rest of the body, including the feet.

Prayer is the ‘heart’ of social outreach.  Social outreach is anchored in prayer & in worship, especially gathered around the Eucharistic table.  Prayer gives life to our ministry.  Rooted in Christ – truly present in the Eucharist – the two feet of love in action bring hope & faith to a broken world.  We are called to help people recognize Jesus in the breaking of the bread.  We are also called to help people recognize Jesus in those without bread.

 

Invited

If interested in helping with direct service & outreach, social justice, or prayer, or all the above, you’re invited!  To get involved, feel free to contact Jonathan at JCampbell@SJNAustin.org or {512} 328-3220 X118.  We look forward to meeting you!

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