Love your Neighbour as yourself (Mk 12:31)

This week is bookended by Valentine’s Day(14 Feb) and the World Day of Social Justice(20 Feb). What might this be saying to us this Lent in the Year of Mercy? Valentine’s Day reminds us to celebrate love in our relationships, and to be conscious of those who might, in some way, feel unloved.  The World Day of Social Justice offers us the opportunity to show support for the eradication of poverty, the promotion of full employment, respect for all human rights, decent work, gender equality, access to social well-being and justice for all.

Let us see this week as a reminder to respond to the cry of the poor and the cry of the Earth, and to reach out in love and service to our neighbour.  We are well aware of the response Jesus gave in response to, “And who is my neighbour?”

How aware am I, then, of the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick and the imprisoned amongst our community and in the wider world?

  • 805 million people go undernourished on a daily basis, consuming less than the recommended 2,100 calories a day.(FAO)
  • Around 1.2 billion people live in areas of physical water scarcity. (UN Water)
  • Almost 60 million people have been forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, generalized violence, or human rights violations.(UNHCR, 2015)
  • An estimated 100 million people are homeless worldwide and as many as 1 billion people lack adequate housing. (UN 2005)
  • Half of the world’s prison population of about nine million is held in the US, China or Russia. Prison rates in the US are the world’s highest, at 724 people per 100,000.(BBC News)

This week:



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