21 November.  Beliefs and Morality. Belief systems influence morality.  Assisted suicide or euthanasia, rejecting treatment or blood transfusions and vaccination, rejecting or accepting divorce and abortion and sexual orientations are some moral issues that religious people agonise over and have been part of the recent Synod on Synodality conversations.  Within families, even when all are Christians, there may be different belief systems. Catholics uphold as best they can the teaching of the Church with integrity, and based on their own, and, ideally, well-formed conscience.  The story in the book of Maccabees about the sacrificial killing of the scribe Eleazar illustrates how this man of integrity, not wishing to give scandal to his fellow believers. chose death over the option of eating pork which was against his belief system. 2 Maccabees 6:18-31

Reflect, share, Scripture.  Eleazar said,Such pretence is not worthy of our time of life” he said, “lest many of the young should suppose that Eleazar in his ninetieth year has gone over to an alien religion and through my pretence for the sake of living a brief moment longer, they should be led astray.  Pope Francis: What to expect from COP28 in DUBAI?  If we are confident in the capacity of human beings to transcend their personal interests and to think in bigger terms we can keep hoping that COP 28 will allow for a decisive acceleration of energy transition with effective commitments subject to ongoing monitoring.   We must move beyond the mentality of appearing to be concerned but have the courage needed to produce substantial changes. LD 54-56.  Action and prayer:  Remember in prayer the needs of those we have loved and lost and our suffering world.