Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Old values 'can tackle modern problem'
â€śThink Festâ€ť in Goa looks afresh at joint approach to solving major global issues
- Bosco de Sousa Eremita, Goa
- November 7, 2011
Thomas L. Friedman, US author of The World is Flat â€“ an analysis of globalization â€“ and addressing the November 4-6 Think Fest 2011, stressed the need to uphold old values of discipline and simplicity in the modern world.
Friedman termed God as an active agent who intervenes in history and is also present in one's actions.
â€śIt is the old fashioned stuff that protects us. It is not in cyberspace and cannot be downloaded. Hence the need to upload it,â€ť he added.
Friedman also said his country is now facing financial insecurity because it chose to chase terrorists and failed to follow the examples of India and China in what is a changing world.
He regretted the US has neglected education, infrastructure, incentives for growth and ground breaking research while concentrating on al-Qaida and the Taliban.
Neglecting these core principles have weakened the US and strengthened Asian economies, he noted.
Tamara Abed of Bangladesh Rural Advance Committee said something was fundamentally wrong with the west, which wastes so much food while millions starve in other parts of the world.
She noted that the US wastes around 222 million tons of food a year which amounts to Africaâ€™s total food production.
Esther Duflo, professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, attributed poor education standards in India to overburdened teachers and an â€śinsane curriculum.â€ť
Afghan parliamentarian Shukria Barakzai said her people have become victims of their countryâ€™s geo strategic position.
â€śWe have paid with our lives for other nationâ€™s interests,â€ť said the woman who was publicly flogged for going to a hospital without an escort.
Father Feroz Fernandes, who edits Vaurvadencho Ixxt (Workersâ€™ Friend), a Church weekly in Goa, noted a general consensus at the event on helping the poor.
â€śThis is the same idea the Church has been harping on about for years. The time has come for the Church and corporations to come tighter [together],â€ť he said.
The biggest challenge for both is to understand each otherâ€™s language, the Catholic priest added.