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November 2010 Recollection's theme
is "Release the Slaves and Prisoners"

Submitted by: regina
On: 07/11/2010

"Release the Slaves and Prisoners" is the theme of the November 2010 Recollection of Good Shepherd Sisters in the Philippines.

Sr. Rosario Battung RGS, of the Spirituality Committee of the 2012 Centennial, said, this is the fourth month of recollection that the theme was on the meaning of Jubilee for the Centennial celebration of Good Shepherd Sisters.

The other themes developed the past months were: Reclaim the Feminist Principle - August; Rest for the Earth -September; and Return the Land -October.

 

 

November 2010 Recollection Materials

The Spirit of the Lord has been given to me, for he has anointed me. He has sent me to bring the good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives and to the blind new sight, to set the downtrodden free, to proclaim the Lord’s year of favour. (Lk. 4:16-30)

This “Nazareth Manifesto” incorporates the theme of holistic atonement found in Isaiah 58, stressing the liberation of the oppressed and criticizing cultic observance without social justice. It is an ethical demand

 …to break unjust fetters and undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and break every yoke, to share your bread with the hungry, and shelter the homeless poor, to clothe the person you see to be naked and not turn from your kin.

We learn from the spirit of the Jewish Jubilee year (Lev. 25) and make our own the four obligations set forth by the Bible as basic preconditions for spiritual liberation, namely: human, economic, ecological, and educational liberation.

For this challenging call we commit ourselves to the living God of Mercy who cries out with us …

“I have seen the misery of my people…” Ex. 3:17

Human liberation is for real in Jewish life. Slaves were to be emancipated with their families. They were to be given human stature and human rights. Even Gentile slaves were to be shown human treatment. The practical love of neighbor extended beyond the immediate kinsfolks. One of the most beautiful passages in the Gospel according to John is the last farewell of Jesus (Jn. 15:15b): “I call you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have learnt from my Father.”

Here we see Jesus breaking the mores of slave society and elevating servants to the egalitarian status of friends. In contrast, today we create divisions and put levels of importance: the white over the colored, male dominating the female, etc. Those who find themselves in the lower rungs are made to feel inferior and are treated like slaves.  Therefore to release slaves today is to break the shackles of discrimination and domination. The Jubilee challenge is to take the side of the downtrodden and the degraded and all those in bondage and we make our own their plight and identify with their struggles. We help those in servitude to reclaim their rights.

What are we to do with structures and systems, institutions and legislature that are enslaving? How do we free people from the ill effects of neocolonial subjugation, globalization, cultural alienation? Releasing slaves has both a personal and global dimension. It is up to us to address the micro and macro aspects of emancipation in this modern age. As much as possible, let us act collectively in solidarity with the oppressed.

As we remember St. John Eudes on his birthday, Nov. 14, we draw from our Eudist and Euphrasian Heritage as our Jubilee response during these 3 years before, during and after our Centennial of the Philippine Province.

 SHOWING MERCY “I have seen the misery of my people…(Ex.3:7)

We contemplate and give thanks to God who reveals GodSelf as a One who is touched by misery, (Ex. 34:6-7) Jesus who is mercy personified is always moved to compassion  - Luke 15

With St. John Eudes we pray that we may be merciful and compassionate persons who carry in our hearts the miseries of those in distress”

I welcome this God of mercy who allows himself to be deeply troubled by the misery of his people.

I take the time to give thanks for what I discover about the heart of God, the heart of Jesus, of Mary.

I allow myself to be filled with compassion, goodness and patience towards all who suffer.

 For Saint John Eudes, “that person is merciful who compassionately carries in his/her heart the miseries of those in distress.” Three conditions are required of mercy: First, showing compassion for the misery of others, since that person is merciful who compassionately carries in his/her heart the miseries of those in distress. Second, being willing to help them in their misery. Third, passing from wanting to help to actually helping. For those who are crushed and oppressed…let us find the appropriate words and actions to tell them they are loved by God just as they are and to receive mercy from them.

 Reflection Guide:

 Recall a personal and communal experience of “holistic atonement” based on Is. 58

  1. How do we practice the 4 basic conditions for spiritual liberation: human, economic, ecological and educational liberation in our life and mission?
  2. Together with St. John Eudes we contemplate and celebrate our experience of 3 conditions required for mercy.
  3. Releasing slaves has both a personal and global dimension. It is up to us to address the micro and macro aspects of emancipation in this modern age.

We commit ourselves to Jesus to work at liberating those who are crushed and oppressed… always finding the appropriate words and actions to tell them they are loved by God just as they are. In the spirituality we also received mercy from them.