August 27

Reflection

The whole world is my family.
Pope John XXIII

Science has discovered that all life had its origins in the same cosmic explosion that occurred approximately 14 billion years ago. We are all related; we are all made of the same elements.  We are made from stardust and the whole world is our family. If we could expand our minds to really believe that, then the pain and joy, the deprivation and well-being, the danger and safety of all people would be as important to us as if they were occurring to the members of our immediate families. We would want to extend to all people the care, concern, and assistance we would extend to our relatives who might be in the same circumstances because we would see one another as kin and outreach and love might replace indifference or hatred. Then we could accept all cultures, all races, all recent expressions of family with respect. We could try to build a world of peace and sufficiency for all that would replace a world of conflict and need.

Prayer

That all may be one.

Action

Consider your concept of family in the context of John XXIII’s words. What is your attitude toward the concepts of the new science? Are there expressions of family with which you have some discomfort? Where can you situate your thinking about the human family?

Suggested Reading

How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!
Psalm 133:1

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
Galatians 6:2

Families hold societies together, and intergenerational relationships extend this legacy over time.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

The future of peace and prosperity that we seek for all the world’s people needs a foundation of tolerance, security, equality and justice. That foundation is the family. It is only by protecting families, from famine as well as from fragmentation, that they can prosper and contribute to the family of nations that is the United Nations.
Kofi Annan

We are one, after all, you and I, together we suffer, together exist and forever will recreate each other.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth.
Bahaullah

The universe is a communion and a community. We ourselves are that communion become conscious of itself.
Thomas Berry

The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.
Thomas Paine

While the spirit of neighborliness was important on the frontier because neighbors were so few, it is even more important now because our neighbors are so many.
Lady Bird Johnson

There are realities we all share, regardless of our nationality, language, or individual tastes. As we need food, so do we need emotional nourishment: love, kindness, appreciation, and support from others. We need to understand our environment and our relationship to it. We need to fulfill certain inner hungers: the need for happiness, for peace of mind — for wisdom.
Swami Kriyananda

My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

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