The words “the poor you always have with you” in Mark 14:7 are sometimes used to deflect attention away from meeting the needs of the poor and focusing it elsewhere. But is this a legitimate use of this verse? Is Jesus really encouraging his followers to turn from the poor? Rev. Gary Hauch explores what Jesus meant by looking at the biblical context. Read more about "For you always have the poor with you…"
Faith & Public Life
Faith commitments – each person’s deepest commitments, whether formally religious in nature or not – shape how each person interacts with our neighbours, our institutions, and our environment. CPJ is convinced that Canada needs to engage in serious reflection on core values and faith perspectives and their implications for our public life together – the common good. Without such a debate, the public sphere will continue to be a place for individuals or groups to advance only their own particular interests rather than come to meaningful consensus on how to address important public issues.
One of the key components of a person’s and a community’s identity is the deepest convictions they hold which shape their private, but also their public life. Faith shapes the most basic questions of identity: Who am I? How did I get here? What is wrong in the world? How can it be fixed? The faith perspectives of Canadians, whether Aboriginal, Muslim, Jew, Christian, Hindu, Sikh or Humanist, shape how they participate as citizens in building and shaping a cohesive and inclusive Canadian society.
Some have argued that people must deny their religion, ethnicity, and culture to participate fully in Canadian life. Some have a deep distrust of religion and a tendency to regard public life as distinctly secular – having no room for faith perspectives. CPJ believes that differing faith convictions should be acknowledged as key elements of how individuals and communities can best contribute to the common good. Learning how to do that in a multi-cultural and multi-faith society is crucial to the common good.
Writing about his work with people who are homeless at Sanctuary Ministries of Toronto, Greg Paul reveals that a deep need for peace can be found throughout our society. He calls for us to live out shalom of Jesus: "justice for those who are oppressed; health and wholeness for those who are sick in body, mind or soul; prosperity for those who are poor. Take it; make it work. Announce this peace and grow it in others." Read more about Beyond stillness to the richness of shalom
Thinking about our role as citizens in terms of ministry makes a big difference in how we approach the challenge of shaping the way our society works. Whether we have legal citizenship or not, we exercise citizenship through the variety of ways in which we engage in the public square. Read more about Citizenship as Ministry
Esther Epp-Tiessen challenges us to remember that seeking justice must be rooted in relationships with real people who are hurting and in the knowledge that it is God’s own persistent patient way of redemption. Read more about Pray always and do not lose heart
Recent articles in the popular press have questioned the validity of a faith-based approach to politics. And for good reason, some approaches are not so helpful to the common good. In our recent Winter Catalyst, Harry Kits suggests, “The real question of faith and politics is… how people of faith can contribute to a hopeful citizenship.” Read more about God(s) in the house: From faith to hopeful citizenship