January 23, 2022: Third Sunday in Ordinary Time and Word of God Sunday
Catholic Social Teaching: Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
Word of God in Catholic Social Teaching: https://socialjustice.catholic.org.au/2021/01/18/the-word-of-god-catholic-social-teaching/
First Reading: Nehemiah 8:2-4a, 5-6, 8-10
Psalm: 19:8, 9, 10, 15
Second Reading: 1st Corinthians 12:12-30
Gospel: Luke 1:1-4 ; 4:14-21
Catechism of the Catholic Church
“Justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God,”13 “sanctified . . . (and) called to be saints,”14 Christians have become the temple of the Holy Spirit. This “Spirit of the Son” teaches them to pray to the Father and, having become their life, prompts them to act so as to bear “the fruit of the Spirit” by charity in action. Healing the wounds of sin, the Holy Spirit renews us interiorly through a spiritual transformation. He enlightens and strengthens us to live as “children of light” through “all that is good and right and true.” (1695) From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:
The benevolence and mercy that inspire God’s actions and provide the key for understanding them become so very much closer to man that they take on the traits of the man Jesus, the Word made flesh. In the Gospel of Saint Luke, Jesus describes his messianic ministry with the words of Isaiah which recall the prophetic significance of the jubilee: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord” (Lk 4:18-19; cf. Is 61:1-2). Jesus therefore places himself on the frontline of fulfillment, not only because he fulfills what was promised and what was awaited by Israel, but also in the deeper sense that in him the decisive event of the history of God with mankind is fulfilled. He proclaims: “He who has seen me has seen the Father” (Jn 14:9). Jesus, in other words, is the tangible and definitive manifestation of how God acts towards men and women. (28)
1st Corinthians 12:13
“God shows no partiality” (Acts 10:34; cf. Rom 2:11; Gal 2:6; Eph 6:9), since all people have the same dignity as creatures made in his image and likeness. The Incarnation of the Son of God shows the equality of all people with regard to dignity: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:28; cf. Rom 10:12; 1 Cor 12:13, Col 3:11).
Since something of the glory of God shines on the face of every person, the dignity of every person before God is the basis of the dignity of man before other men. Moreover, this is the ultimate foundation of the radical equality and brotherhood among all people, regardless of their race, nation, sex, origin, culture, or class. (144)
The Word of God read from a book, scroll or digital screen accompanies, challenges and sustains the faithful, in every era along the lineage of faith. Words that sting with calls beckoning transformation. Sentences of complexity requiring pondering, interpretation to the day, time and place. Phrases of thanksgiving that become mantras of praise. In compilation, the Word of God may seem paradoxically laden with precepts of conduct, but granting ultimate freedom when deciphering the root meaning expresses God’s mercy and love. A reminder Ezra, Nehemiah and the Levites gave to the people, who initially wept when hearing the Word proclaimed, that the Word of God should be celebrated in a festive mood and not met with sadness. For the Lord’s words are Spirit and life refreshing the soul, giving wisdom to the simple, rejoicing to the heart and enlightening to the eye. Words Jesus taught in synagogues linking the law to His messianic presence. Phrases from Isaiah, He fulfilled and articulated for His disciples to ultimately share to the ends of the earth. Words we all should internalize in our hearts to manifest in the world. As we are each Theophilus, a beloved of God, hearing the compilation of events fulfilled, handed down to us and realize the certainty of teachings we have received. A universality of expression for all people to partake. Restoration of right relationships between God and humanity and all humanity to one another and creation. Glad tidings Jesus read from Isaiah 58 and 61 and from the story of creation to the Psalms and ultimately salvation history. Words to let God’s reign prevail on earth and not market exploitation of people and the earth. For understanding the Word of God should not present us a burden, but give light to our faith. As the Psalm reminds us, God created light in the heavens to sustain life and transcending the cosmic realm, the light of faith emulated in Christ and His precepts give life sustaining gifts. Words that initially jarred the gathering in the synagogue. Eventually creating a schism among the devout, from the words precipitated from Jesus’ lips. For the leaders felt the need to maintain control and exercise their authority in congruency with political discourse of ancient times utilizing the analogy of the body to preserve cohesiveness. A status quo of continuity to diminish dissent and silence prophetic voices. But the emerging Christian community, drawing upon Paul’s writings would reimagine the bodily analogy as an expression of interdependence needed for unity. A commonality flowing from the waters of baptism for the greatest and the least, the spiritually astute and the seeker. The nexus where uniformity would initiate failure, because it would deny each person the opportunity to use their unique gift needed for the collective functioning of the Body of Christ. WIth a focus on unity, all are valued. A message proclaimed in the Word of God, from Genesis to Revelation, and bonded to tradition form the bedrock of our faith.
Individual Reflection: Nehemiah 8:2-4a, 5-6, 8-10
Celebrate Word of God Sunday by posting your favorite scripture passage on your social media.
Family Reflection: Luke 1:1-4
As a family, consider having a meal to dialogue on the global Synod process. Share your family’s insights with your diocese. https://www.synodresources.org/resource_post/3403/
Prayer: January 25th is the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul. Give a prayer of thanksgiving for your conversion to faith, where faith moved beyond acceptance of faith to belief.
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 January 22, 2022 St Vincent Pray for us ! The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.