January 8

Reflection

An artisan has both the creativity and the skill to make a product. Usually these objects are made by hand and express the creative talent of the individual. In one of his homilies, Pope Francis expressed his admiration and gratitude for those he called “the artisans of the common good”.  These are the people who act in personal and quiet ways to build the common good each day. Among them he mentioned people who drive in traffic with good sense, who respect public places, who are good to the elderly and those in need, who report things that are not right.  With these and other behaviors the Pope said they cooperate silently for the common good,“ without giving speeches, without publicity, but with a style of practical civic education for daily life.”  As we begin this new year it is a reminder that we do not live in isolation but as part of a community and that our behavior can have an positive or negative effect on the good of all.

Prayer

May I be an artisan for the common good.

Action

Reflect on the meaning of “artisans for the common good”.  What can it mean in your life?

Suggested Reading

Do not rely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
Philippians 2:4

Contribute to the needs of all and seek to show hospitality.
Romans 5: 9-21

The life of the community, both domestically and internationally, clearly demonstrates that respect for rights, and the guarantees that follow from them, are measures of the common good that serve to evaluate the relationship between justice and injustice, development and poverty, security and conflict.
Pope Benedict XVI

Our humanity makes us each a part of something greater than ourselves.
Sonia Sotomayor

Your life matters. You can’t live through a day without making an impact on the world. And what’s most important is to think about the impact of your actions on the world around you.
Jane Goodall

Political civility is not about being polite to each other. It’s about reclaiming the power of ‘We the People’ to come together, debate the common good and call American democracy back to its highest values amid our differences.
Parker Palmer

A nation is formed by the willingness of each of us to share in the responsibility for upholding the common good.
Barbara Jordan

There is no higher religion than human service. To work for the common good is the greatest creed.
Woodrow Wilson

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