Lent 2013: Pray - Study - Act
In This Issue
PRAY: We are almost always counting, Lord
STUDY: Reflection for the Fifth Sunday of Lent
ACT: PCI calls for end of settlement policy by Israel
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Fifth Week of Lent, March 17-23, 2013
Greetings of peace!  

Below you'll find resources for prayer-study-action during the fifth week of Lent, March 17-23. Also, please don't forget to send us information for your Way of the Cross vigils and witnesses taking place on Good Friday. If your group is hosting one yourself or if you plan on participating in one, let us know and we'll post the info on the Lent page on the website. If you have not planned one of these powerful witnesses before, we have provided some resources for your group to undertake one. You can visit our Lenten page by clicking here, then scroll down to the bottom of the page for more information, examples of different types of Way of the Cross actions which you can use as a template in planning yours (or use as-is if it fits!), and other resources. 


In peace,

Johnny Zokovitch
Director of Communications, Pax Christi USA
We are almost always counting, Lord...
by Donna Shaper


We are almost always counting, Precious Lord. Teach us soon to count our blessings. We are in a terrible hurry. Put something in the way of our rushing about and let us trip over it, finding a new appreciation for interruptions. Amen we pray, O God, for that thing called integrity, that exciting marriage between our inner and outer lives. Help us to pay attention to our own nourishment and what we put into our bodies, our arms and our hearts. Help us find energy, to know that health is not so much the absence or disease as the presence or vitality. Make us into inner-actives; people who move with grace from the inside out and the outside back again. Help us to be both morally nimble and morally solid. Let us not be afraid of our confusion but rather embrace it with the power of wisdom in you. Amen.

Reflection for the Fifth Sunday of Lent

By Scott Wright and Jean Stokan


Isaiah 43:16-21 | Philippians 3:8-14 | John 8:1-11

I am about to do a new thing. Do you not perceive it?


We begin our fifth week of Lent on a note of power and amazement: "Our God is an awesome God!" (Psalm 47:2). Our God is the God of history, and can "make a way in the sea" for the people of Israel to march to freedom, a "way in the wilderness" for the exiles to return (Isaiah 43:16, 19). Our God is also the Creator of heaven and earth who can "make rivers run in the desert" and gardens to spring up to nourish the people (Isaiah 43:19).

    The apostle Paul captures this spirit when he says: "I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection...if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead" (Philippians 3:10-11). Yet he knows, and we know, that such knowledge comes with "sharing in Christ's sufferings by becoming like him in his death" (Philippians 3:10). We, too, are invited to take part in this "great adventure" and "press on towards the goal," with the confidence that "Christ Jesus has made us his own" (Philippians 3:14, 12). We are invited to live as resurrected beings in the midst of the world's crosses.

    Yet we still cry out, "God, how long?" The journey of life is difficult and filled with crosses, as it is filled with blessings. But sometimes the crosses seem to overshadow the blessings; the darkness seems to overshadow the light; the suffering seems to overshadow the signs of resurrection; death seems to have dominion. At times, we find ourselves without hope....


ACT: Pax Christi International calls for
"end of settlement" policy by Israel

On 11 March, Pax Christi International issued a letter to U.S. President Barack Obama ahead of his planned visit to Israel and Palestine later this month. The letter calls upon President Obama to address settlements and the separation wall with the Israeli leadership during his forthcoming trip. Pax Christi sections and Member Organizations worldwide were invited to co-sign this letter along with the International Secretariat.

  Although former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, had declared in December that plans for new settlements "set back the cause of a negotiated peace", the U.S. was the only UN Security Council member to oppose a joint statement against Israel's advancement of construction plans in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Pax Christi International deplores Israel's expansion of settlements and the separation wall which undermine the possibility of resuming peace talks, as well as the feasibility of a viable two-state solution with Jerusalem as a shared capital.


Click here to learn more about this initiative.


Consider using the Pax Christi International statement as a template for a letter to the editor in your community or to send to the White House.