“If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.” (Romans 8:11)
The readings this Sunday focus on moving from death into life. We can sometimes feel that we are so weighted down by heavy cares that lifting up our bones and continuing with our daily routines is too much to bear. We do not have the power to resurrect dead people, but we do have the power to resurrect dead relationships – those that have dried up like the bones in Ezekiel’s reading.
- What are the dry bones in my life that need to be revitalized?
- What do I need to do to reactivate dead or dying relationships? Do I even want to do this?
- Can I remove the obstacles in my being that resist reaching out to people who were once a part of my life, but who have disconnected for various reasons?
- Am I too stubborn or proud to be the first one to reach out to a marginalized or decaying relationship and breathe new life into it?
Come forth…. “I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken and will act,” says the LORD. (EZ 3:14)
Will you allow the LORD to breathe this new life through you?
LORD JESUS: I am supposed to pay special attention to you during Lent. Not you alone, but to the people among whom you sent me. I do not always notice them. I am too busy to be bothered many times. I don’t see the longings in their eyes for just a moment’s notice, just a smile or a quick hello, or a simple “How are you?” when I really mean it. Help me to try, at least once each day, to stop and notice the people around me. Perhaps I can pour life-giving water on their dry bones and revitalize them in some small way.
“We must be poor with the poor
and recapture a tender and kind
relationship with Mother Earth.
Then we will know how to act.”
-Sr. Dorothy Stang, SNDdeN
Sister Dorothy Stang, 74, was shot to death in the Amazon jungle in Brazil on Saturday, February 12, 2005. She was renowned throughout the Amazon region for her work with those living in poverty, the landless and for her efforts to preserve the rain forest.
Seeds Bear Fruit in Brazil, by Sister Jane Dwyer, SNDdeN, Good Works, November 2014.
Water as a Life Force
WATER AS A LIFE FORCE
The World Food Summit of 1996 defined food security as existing when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet dietary needs for a productive and healthy life.
Water is key to food security. Crops and livestock need water to grow. Agriculture requires large quantities of water for irrigation and of good quality for various production processes. While feeding the world and producing a diverse range of non-food crops such as cotton, rubber and industrial oils in an increasingly productive way, agriculture also confirmed its position as the biggest user of water on the globe. Irrigation now claims close to 70 percent of all freshwater appropriated for human use.
In 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirmed the right of everyone to adequate food. However, access to adequate food in the rural areas of many developing countries depends heavily on access to natural resources, including water, that are necessary to produce food. The UN General Assembly declared access to clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right on 28 July 2010. But the right to water in the context of the right to food is a complex question. While drinking and cooking water would be protected, water for food production would probably not be covered under the minimum needs in arid areas.
There is enough water available for our global future needs, but this world picture hides large areas of absolute water scarcity which affects billions of people, many of whom are poor and disadvantaged. Major changes in policy and management, across the entire agricultural production chain, are needed to ensure best use of available water resources in meeting growing demands for food and other agricultural products.
- The way that water is managed in agriculture has caused wide-scale changes in ecosystems and undermined the provision of a wide range of ecosystem services. The external cost of the damage to people and ecosystems, and clean-up processes, from the agricultural sector is significant. In the United States of America, for instance, the estimated cost is US$9–20 billion per year.
- Agriculture contributes to climate change through its share of greenhouse gases emissions, which in turn affect the planet’s water cycle, adding another layer of uncertainties and risks to food production. It is predicted that South Asia and Southern Africa will be the most vulnerable regions to climate change-related food shortages by 2030.
Matt Damon helps us the water crisis in The Power of Water (water.org).
Come Alive (Dry Bones) featuring Lauren Daigle
The Story of Lazarus as told by Mary (John 11:1-45)