Friday, June 12, 2009

We Are Ambassadors for Christ

June 13, 2009

Saturday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come. And all this is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and given us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting their trespasses against them and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. So we are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 2 Corinthians 5:17-20

But I say to you, do not swear at all; not by heaven, for it is God's throne; nor by the earth, for it is his footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Matthew 5:34-35


Petitions or Prayers for Farmworker Justice

For the farmworkers who toil in the fields earning sub-poverty wages, without benefits or basic rights enjoyed by most other workers, let us pray to the Lord.

For the liberation and safety of the farmworkers in Florida and throughout the world, who at this very moment, may be held against their will in modern-day slavery, let us pray to the Lord.

For Burger King, Subway, and other corporations that purchase Florida’s tomatoes, that they may heed the call to practice social responsibility and value the dignity of the farmworkers in their supply chain more than their profits, let us pray to the Lord.

For the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, the Campaign for Fair Food, and all those who are working to transform our food system to respect farmworkers, let us pray to the Lord.

For the mindfulness to remember those who harvest our fruits and vegetables and for the courage to partner with farmworkers to work for justice and dignity, let us pray to the Lord. Amen. (From the Alliance for Fair Food)


Behold! New things have come! Jesus is the new Adam and seeks to recreate us in his countenance just like God created us in his image.

Ever since that beginning, we have been doing things “my way” as Frank Sinatra would sing. Despite such self-indulgence, God does not hold that against us. Instead, he acts exactly opposite of human beings. Instead of counting up our sins, he counts the ways he can bring us back to him. Instead of turning his back on us as we turn our back on him and on our neighbor and on our enemy, God wants to participate in a closer walk with him.

God wants us to conquer fragmentation and separation. So, to unify us with him again, he sends Jesus to be reconciliation. Everything in heaven and on earth is God’s creations. Jesus came to make us new again.

God appealed to us through Christ. Now it is our turn to go out as ambassadors for Christ. Now it is our turn to appeal to the world on behalf of God.


How can we support the farm workers who put food on our table at wages that are so low, many can not even afford to live?

Many of us have become aware in recent years of Fair Trade products like coffee and chocolate. Maybe your parish has joined a growing list of churches and other institutions that make fair trade products like these more widely available.

There is another group of workers who need our help. They are not growing coffee in some distant continent but are picking the tomatoes in Florida that end up on your dinner table, on your sandwich, in your pizza sauce, or adorning your crunchy taco.

The Alliance for Fair Food is a coalition aimed at improving the plight of these farm workers by forging agreements with large grocery store and restaurant chains. They have made progress with agreements with McDonalds, Burger Kings, Taco Bell (and the rest of the Yum! Brands chain of establishments), Whole Foods, and more.

Find out more about how we can support this work and reconciliation with our sisters and brothers who work with little recognition to put food on our table. Visit the web site to learn how we can help put a fair wage in their pocket so they can feed their hungry children and families, too.

Contact the Alliance for postcards. As we head into summer, a simple yet effective step that you can take is to send postcards to the headquarters of major supermarket chains encouraging them to improve wages and conditions in their tomato supply chains. The Alliance has postcards to Ahold (which owns Giant) and other popular restaurant chains like Subway and Chipoltle about joining this campaign and supporting fair wage practices. Send an E-mail to stating which postcards and how many you'd like, and they will send them to you.