July 12, 2020: Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Catholic Social Teaching: Solidarity
Learn about spirituality concerns of Native American Catholic s
First Reading: Isaiah 55:10-11
Psalm: 65:10,11, 12-13, 14
Second Reading: Romans 8:18-23
Gospel: Matthew 13:1-23
Catechism of the Catholic Church
Jesus asks for childlike abandonment to the providence of our heavenly Father who takes care of his children’s smallest needs: “Therefore do not be anxious, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?”. . . Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.” (305). From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:
Jesus takes up the entire Old Testament tradition even with regard to economic goods, wealth and poverty, and he gives them great clarity and fullness (cf. Mt 6:24, 13:22; Lk 6:20-24, 12:15-21; Rom 14:6-8; 1 Tim 4:4). Through the gift of his Spirit and the conversion of hearts, he comes to establish the “Kingdom of God”, so that a new manner of social life is made possible, in justice, brotherhood, solidarity and sharing. The Kingdom inaugurated by Christ perfects the original goodness of the created order and of human activity, which were compromised by sin. Freed from evil and being placed once more in communion with God, man is able to continue the work of Jesus, with the help of his Spirit. In this, man is called to render justice to the poor, releasing the oppressed, consoling the afflicted, actively seeking a new social order in which adequate solutions to material poverty are offered and in which the forces thwarting the attempts of the weakest to free themselves from conditions of misery and slavery are more effectively controlled. When this happens, the Kingdom of God is already present on this earth, although it is not of the earth. It is in this Kingdom that the promises of the Prophets find final fulfillment. (325)
Romans Chapter 8
The salvation offered in its fullness to men in Jesus Christ by God the Father’s initiative, and brought about and transmitted by the work of the Holy Spirit, is salvation for all people and of the whole person: it is universal and integral salvation. It concerns the human person in all his dimensions: personal and social, spiritual and corporeal, historical and transcendent. It begins to be made a reality already in history, because what is created is good and willed by God, and because the Son of God became one of us Its completion, however, is in the future, when we shall be called, together with all creation (cf. Rom 8), to share in Christ’s resurrection and in the eternal communion of life with the Father in the joy of the Holy Spirit. This outlook shows quite clearly the error and deception of purely immanentistic visions of the meaning of history and in humanity’s claims to self-salvation. (38)
The universality of this hope also includes, besides the men and women of all peoples, heaven and earth: “Shower, O heavens, from above, and let the skies rain down righteousness; let the earth open, that salvation may sprout forth, and let it cause righteousness to spring up also; I the Lord have created it” (Is 45:8). According to the New Testament, all creation, together indeed with all humanity, awaits the Redeemer: subjected to futility, creation reaches out full of hope, with groans and birth pangs, longing to be freed from decay (cf. Rom 8:18-22). (123)
Romans 8:19-22 and Romans 8:20
With her social doctrine not only does the Church not stray from her mission but she is rigorously faithful to it. The redemption wrought by Christ and entrusted to the saving mission of the Church is certainly of the supernatural order. This dimension is not a delimitation of salvation but rather an integral expression of it. The supernatural is not to be understood as an entity or a place that begins where the natural ends, but as the raising of the natural to a higher plane. In this way nothing of the created or the human order is foreign to or excluded from the supernatural or theological order of faith and grace, rather it is found within it, taken on and elevated by it. “In Jesus Christ the visible world which God created for man (cf. Gen 1:26-30) — the world that, when sin entered, ‘was subjected to futility’ (Rom 8:20; cf. Rom 8:19-22) — recovers again its original link with the divine source of Wisdom and Love. Indeed, ‘God so loved the world that he gave his only Son’ (Jn 3:16). As this link was broken in the man Adam, so in the Man Christ it was reforged (cf. Rom 5:12-21)”. (64)
Human activity aimed at enhancing and transforming the universe can and must unleash the perfections which find their origin and model in the uncreated Word. In fact, the Pauline and Johannine writings bring to light the Trinitarian dimension of creation, in particular the link that exists between the Son—Word — the Logos — and creation (cf. Jn 1:3; 1 Cor 8:6; Col 1:15-17). Created in him and through him, redeemed by him, the universe is not a happenstance conglomeration but a “cosmos”. It falls to man to discover the order within it and to heed this order, bringing it to fulfilment: “In Jesus Christ the visible world which God created for man — the world that, when sin entered, ‘was subjected to futility’ (Rom 8:20; cf. ibid. 8:19-22) — recovers again its original link with the divine source of Wisdom and Love”. In this way — that is, bringing to light in ever greater measure “the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Eph 3:8), in creation, human work becomes a service raised to the grandeur of God. (262)
Not only is the inner man made whole once more, but his entire nature as a corporeal being is touched by the redeeming power of Christ. The whole of creation participates in the renewal flowing from the Lord’s Paschal Mystery, although it still awaits full liberation from corruption, groaning in travail (cf. Rom 8:19-23), in expectation of giving birth to “a new heaven and a new earth” (Rev 21:1) that are the gift of the end of time, the fulfillment of salvation. In the meantime, nothing stands outside this salvation. Whatever his condition of life may be, the Christian is called to serve Christ, to live according to his Spirit, guided by love, the principle of a new life, that brings the world and man back to their original destiny: “whether … the world or life or death or the present or the future, all are yours; and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s” (1 Cor 3:22-23). (455)
In her social doctrine the Church offers above all an integral vision of man and a complete understanding of his personal and social dimensions. Christian anthropology reveals the inviolable dignity of every person and places the realities of work, economics and politics into an original perspective that sheds light on authentic human values while at the same time inspiring and sustaining the task of Christian witness in the varied areas of personal, cultural and social life. Thanks to the “first fruits of the Spirit” (Rom 8:23), Christians become “capable of discharging the new law of love (cf. Rom 8:1-11). Through this Spirit, who is ‘the pledge of our inheritance’ (Eph 1:14), the whole man is renewed from within, even to the achievement of ‘the redemption of the body’ (Rom 8:23)”. In this sense the Church’s social doctrine shows how the moral basis of all social action consists in the human development of the person and identifies the norm for social action corresponding to humanity’s true good and as efforts aimed at creating the conditions that will allow every person to satisfy his integral vocation. (522)
For complete text visit: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/justpeace/documents/rc_pc_justpeace_doc_20060526_compendio-dott-soc_en.html
No stage to mount, no podium to approach, speaking in length, Jesus offered parables while perched on a boat as people listen intently from the shore. A place far away from the temple and Holy of Holies, the Sabbath gatherings in synagogues with unrolled scrolls. For Jesus met the people where they were and spoke in parables analogous with their agrarian life. The difficulty of sowing seeds on the parched, rocky soil of Palestine baked in scorching sun, with birds looking to grasp a morsel. The difficulty to deeply root and produce vibrant growth, while preciously little amounts of good soil produced a bounty from its supporting richness. A parable literally relevant to ears hearing the parable proclaimed and also analogous to the spirituality they were seeking in their souls. A yearning and hunger to garner substance in the synergy of faith and life. The hunger of the soul for attentiveness, openness and responsiveness to the grace of God’s word. A gift that can be dismissed or treasured, disposed of or savored. The Divine offering of an opportunity to live the parables. A participation in the Kingdom of God to be seen with one’s eyes, heard with one’s ears and to ultimately understand with one’s heart. With an end result to not enslave, embitter, but heal as only the Messiah offers. A longing of many prophets and righteous people delving for answers on papyrus and pixels for the Divine uncontainable and ultimately unexplainable on a page or screen. For joy, the Lord’s exclamation of completeness, must be rooted, uninhibited by pursuit and attainment of worldly riches and stressed by worldly anxiety. Rootedness provides foundational support to discern and act in bringing forth fruitfulness yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty fold not for one’s self, but for His glory. For we only tend the gifts we have been given, tilling the vineyard and at times breaking up clods of repugnant voices seeking to drive people from the mercy of God, instead of welcoming in thanksgiving of a rich harvest. For we will not let the Lord’s word return to Him in a vacuum untouched by the human experience, but the word broken open to do His will, achieving the end for which He sent it.
Individual Reflection:Isaiah 55:10-11
Write a letter to persons in leadership in your diocese or a diocese that dismisses, does not welcome all to collaboratively build the Kingdom of God. Share that letter with ten people and encourage them to write letters.
Family Reflection: Matthew 13:1-23
Save a portion of a potato or sweet potato that has sprouted and place in a glass jar with water. Watch the roots grow and then plant it in a container or the ground to grow some potatoes. As the roots grow talk about building roots in our lives.
St Kateri Tekakwitha’s feast day is July 14th, the first Native American saint. She endured a small pox epidemic in her village in current upstate New York and eventually traveled to live in present day Quebec Let us ask for St Kateri’s intercession in this time of pandemic. St Kateri pray for us ! Here’s some virtual presentations for St Kateri conference 2020
Blogs to Visit:
As we reflect upon Mary’s presence in the mysteries of the Rosary, we are blessed to know her. For her journey, a timeless trek, calls us to surrender, continuing conversion, humbleness and justice now.
Weekly lectionary reflections, for faith sharing groups, parish bulletins, newsletters or personal prayer, from the synergy of the Word we hear and the rich tradition of Catholic Social Teaching.
Catholic Social Teaching offers seven principles for upholding life in our thoughts, decisions and actions.
How we do Catholic Social Teaching.
Creation sustainability ministry resources in the spirit of the St Francis Pledge.
Social Ministry Resources Engaging Parishes: Monthly and liturgical seasons resources for use with parish websites, bulletins and newsletters
List one or two upcoming events, legislative action alerts or social justice websites
By Barb Born July 1, 2020 Fr Serra pray for us. The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.