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Luke 24: 13-35 - “Outside of their comfort zone”, by Jennifer Martin (Pilgrimage Bible study)

The Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace is dedicated to the accompaniment of persons as they move along their journey, regardless of what their current circumstance might be. At times persons may be so overwhelmed by their past and present that they are incapable to grasp the help which is at hand. Pilgrims often need a patient, listening ear before they can draw the strength to carry on with their physical and spiritual pilgrimages.

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Luke 24:13-35 "The Walk to Emmaus", by Susan Durber (Pilgrimage Bible study)

There are all sorts of pilgrimages for which one plans and prepares, looks forward to and anticipates with excitement. This story in Luke 24:13-35 is nothing like that. This is a story about a walk that comes from grief and trauma, from profound disappointment and sorrow. It is a story that starts with the slow steps of the depressed and cast down. But it ends with the excited running of the redeemed, and the joy of finding life transformed.

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Celebration of Vesakh

As Buddhists in some countries of the world celebrate Vesakh and others prepare to celebrate Vesakh the Office of Interreligious Dialogue of the World Council of Churches reached out to the Venerable Dhammanandha Bhikkuni, the first fully ordained female Bhikkuni in the Theravada tradition in Thailand for her reflections on Vesakh. Venerable Dhammananda, previously known as Chatsumarn Kabilsingh, was previously a Professor at Thammasat, a prestigious university in Thailand. She is currently the Abbess of Songdhamkalyani monastery in the outskirts of Bangkok. We are grateful to Ven Dhammnandha for her reflections.

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Jonah 1:4-5 and 4:1-8 "Jonah and his Selective Ecological Concern", by Liz Vuadi Vibila (Pilgrimage Bible study)

The several climatic events in the Book of Jonah present all environmental concerns: the sea calming down (1:15), making a plant grow (4:6), and the sending of a worm (4:7), and all play a particular role in God’s plan. They are used in the text as divine emissaries, human begin is the only one to oppose God’s will in these dramatic scenes. The ecological problem and the attributes associated with the creatures remain a fundamental issue from Jonah to our current daily reality. The worm, a lowly creature, is elevated as well as the ephemeral plant. Accordingly, Jonah has to learn that the plant is appointed by God. The ecological reading on the Book of Jonah invites us to the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace in relation to the ecological justice.

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Jonah 4:1-11 “Invitation to tolerance and compassion”, by Magali do Nascimento Cunha (Pilgrimage Bible study)

The story of Jonah is about the compassionate God whose mercy has no geographical, cultural, political, and economic frontier. The dialogue between God and Jonah (Jonah 4:1-11), which is considered the climax of the Book of Jonah, is an invitation to overcome intolerance and to cultivate compassion. The dialogue consists of two main parts: the anger of Jonah (v. 1-5) and the compassion of God (v. 6-11). In the dialogue, Jonah becomes angry, but God responds to him with two questions: “Is it good for you to be angry?” (v. 4) and “Is it good for you to be angry about the plant?” (v. 9) which indicate the limitless and universal mercy of God. In this way, the story of Jonah invites us to the pilgrimage of tolerance and compassion.

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