A place at the Table

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With all the media focus in recent months and weeks on the Euro crisis and the terrible events in Syria, there is a danger that we may overlook an important Good News event occurring towards the end of June. This is called "Rio+20", a short name for the forthcoming UN Conference on Sustainable Development.

This comes twenty years after the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, when countries adopted a blueprint to rethink economic growth, advance social justice and ensure environmental protection.   The Rio+20 Conference will bring together governments, international institutions and Non-Governmental Organisations to agree on further steps to reduce global poverty, encourage sustainable living and a fair use of natural resources.

In the midst of so much bad news about desertification and imminent threats of new famines in West Africa it is encouraging to note the signs of progress being made across the world to ensure a decent way of life for vulnerable populations.

As brothers and sisters in the one human family we can watch out for reports on the Conference, pray for its success, use our voice to lobby our own Governments, and support voluntary groups and NGOs at present preparing for it. Ensuring that the poor have "a place at the table" is one of the most vital things we can do, each in his or her own way, to express our human and religious values. The Dublin International Eucharistic Congress also taking place this month, reminds Christians that our food and our solidarity needs to be shared without discrimination.  (Written by Carol Dorgan)

Lord Jesus, you were sent by the Father to gather together those who are scattered.
You came among us doing good and bringing healing,
announcing the Word of salvation and giving the Bread which lasts forever.
Be our companion on life's pilgrim way.

May your Holy Spirit transform us
Into one body and lead us to walk humbly on the earth,
In justice and love,
As witnesses to your resurrection. (From the Prayer of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress)