Lectionary Selection: Mark 5:21-43
Prayers for Paraguay:
We give thanks to God for those who collaborate to make it possible for us to accompany the Paraguayan people in complex times and for His Word that traces the way forward. Let us continue to pray that God will continue to provide the necessary resources so that this touch of the invisible woman of the biblical story continues to stop the Paraguayan people's illnesses, such as misunderstanding, devaluation and social injustice. Let them face the daily life of pain and scarcity with much hope, believing the God of life, who will be with them. Pray that we can continue to be supportive - supporting them, accompanying them and giving them the tools that will allow them to heal. Let us make the words of Jesus our own when he told his disciples, so that we could do as He had done (John 13:15). Let us follow the modeling of Jesus, blessing and making presence in this blessed land. May God help us. Amen
Mission Stewardship Moment from Paraguay:
The Gospel of Mark presents us with an ill woman and the compassionate Christ who acts on behalf of His people. It is Jesus who goes through communities healing, teaching, and empowering people with the sole purpose of blessing, sustaining, and validating the ignored, humiliated, or simply invisible among the communities. The evangelist presents Jesus as the alternative of Hope for the hopeless, disadvantaged, sick and oppressed.
This desperately ill woman, with an anguished father, allows us to identify with the daily life of many of our Paraguayan communities who suffer powerlessness before inhuman and unjust leaders. We join the pain of peasants and indigenous people who are being deprived of their lands, the anguish of malnutrition of children and the elderly, together with insensitivity and lack of resources for indigenous communities, working children, and the unjust social inequality that causes so much damage to the Paraguayan people. The model of Jesus has to continue to reach the communities that need to discover the Jesus that integrates and does not reject.
Somehow that Woman of the Biblical story - marginalized, stigmatized, accused of being impure, rejected and lonely - discovered Jesus. This good news has also reached the Disciples of Christ Churches of Paraguay, Global Ministries partner in Paraguay, and together with other institutions has reached the communities of the Paraguayan Chaco, Tuyu Puku, Caacupé, Luque, Asunción, and many other places. They have taken the hope of a new dawn for women and their families who face domestic violence, abuse, marginalization, and social invisibility. We have to continue supporting them, accompanying them, and motivating them until they discover in themselves the abilities to organize and discover that they can rise up and make new possibilities realities.
(Prayer and Mission Moment by Rev. Amelia Casillas)
Mission Partners in Paraguay:
- Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Paraguay
- Churches Committee for Emergency Aid (CIPAE)
- First Paraguayan School for the Deaf
- Friendship Mission
More information on Paraguay: https://www.globalministries.org/paraguay
Rev. Amelia Casillas, member of Iglesia Discipulos de Condado Moderno, Caguas, Puerto Rico, serves with the Round Table for Mission Development of the Disciples of Christ Church in Argentina and the Disciples of Christ Church in Paraguay.