October 25, 2020: Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Catholic Social Teaching: Solidarity
Charity is the theological virtue by which we love God above all things for his own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God.
Jesus makes charity the new commandment. By loving his own “to the end,”he makes manifest the Father’s love which he receives. By loving one another, the disciples imitate the love of Jesus which they themselves receive. Whence Jesus says: “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love.” And again: “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”
Fruit of the Spirit and fullness of the Law, charity keeps the commandments of God and his Christ: “Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love.” (1822-1824) Catechism of Catholic Church
First Reading: Exodus 22:20-26
Psalm: 18:2-3, 3-4, 47, 51
Second Reading: 1st Thessalonians 1:5c-10
Gospel Acclamation: John 14:23
Gospel: Matthew 22:34-40
Catechism of the Catholic Church
In response to the question about the first of the commandments, Jesus says: “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
The apostle St. Paul reminds us of this: “He who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. The commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,’ and any other commandment, are summed up in this sentence, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” (2196) From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:
The prototype of the king chosen by Yahweh is David, whose humble origins are a favourite topic of the biblical account (cf. 1 Sam 16:1-13). David is the recipient of the promise (cf. 2 Sam 7:13-16; Ps 89:2-38, 132:11-18), which places him at the beginning of a special kingly tradition, the “messianic” tradition. Notwithstanding all the sins and infidelities of David and his successors, this tradition culminates in Jesus Christ, who is par excellence “Yahweh’s anointed” (that is, “the Lord’s consecrated one”, cf. 1 Sam 2:35, 24:7,11, 26:9,16; Ex 30:22-32), the son of David (cf. Mt 1:1-17; Lk 3:23-38; Rom 1:3).
The failure of kingship on the historical level does not lead to the disappearance of the ideal of a king who, in fidelity to Yahweh, will govern with wisdom and act in justice. This hope reappears time and again in the Psalms (cf. Ps 2, 18, 20, 21, 72). In the messianic oracles, the figure of a king endowed with the Lord’s Spirit, full of wisdom and capable of rendering justice to the poor, is awaited in eschatological times (cf. Is 11:2-5; Jer 23:5-6). As true shepherd of the people of Israel (cf. Ezek 34:23-24, 37:24), he will bring peace to the nations (cf. Zech 9:9-10). In Wisdom Literature, the king is presented as the one who renders just judgments and abhors iniquity (cf. Prov 16:12), who judges the poor with equity (cf. Prov 29:14) and is a friend to those with a pure heart (cf. Prov 22:11). There is a gradual unfolding of the proclamation of what the Gospels and other New Testament writings see fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth, the definitive incarnation of what the Old Testament foretold about the figure of the king. (378)
Do we remember our past, our path of lineage? Except for the indigenous people, ancestors have traversed by wagon wheels, ships and planes journeying to new locales Man and woman are in relationship with others above all as those to whom the lives of others have been entrusted. “For your lifeblood I will surely require a reckoning, … I will require it … of man [and] of every man’s brother” (Gen 9:5), God tells Noah after the flood. In this perspective, the relationship with God requires that the life of man be considered sacred and inviolable. The fifth commandment, “Thou shalt not kill” (Ex 20:13; Deut 5:17), has validity because God alone is Lord of life and death. The respect owed to the inviolability and integrity of physical life finds its climax in the positive commandment: “You shall love your neighbour as yourself” (Lev 19:18), by which Jesus enjoins the obligation to tend to the needs of one’s neighbour (cf. Mt 22:37-40; Mk 12:29-31; Lk 10:27-28). (112)
The immediate purpose of the Church’s social doctrine is to propose the principles and values that can sustain a society worthy of the human person. Among these principles, solidarity includes all the others in a certain way. It represents “one of the fundamental principles of the Christian view of social and political organization”.
Light is shed on this principle by the primacy of love, “the distinguishing mark of Christ’s disciples (cf. Jn 13:35)”. Jesus teaches us that “the fundamental law of human perfection, and consequently of the transformation of the world, is the new commandment of love” (cf. Mt 22:40, Jn 15:12; Col 3:14; Jas 2:8). Personal behaviour is fully human when it is born of love, manifests love and is ordered to love. This truth also applies in the social sphere; Christians must be deeply convinced witnesses of this, and they are to show by their lives how love is the only force (cf. 1 Cor 12:31-14:1) that can lead to personal and social perfection, allowing society to make progress towards the good. (580)
Do we remember our past, our path of lineage? Except for indigenous people, ancestors have traversed by wagon wheels, ships and planes journeying to new locales, leaving the preponderance of humanity as aliens. All the challenges of relocation, establishing roots and settling in place. Do we ponder this reality when we have an encounter with present day aliens? To not look at them as “different”, “other”, using the alien label to minimize their humanity, dignity and identity. A label people take to exploit in economics, justice and respect. These actions, even when they appear subtle, discrete, are fully visible to the Divine, as God pursues the depth of our hearts. Heart, the center of our emotions, speaks boldly in our actions that cannot be hidden. Actions that can affirm or strip the dignity of contemporary aliens. And do we also label people aliens with divides of ideology and theology? The unwillingness to dialogue and discern, leaving people feeling the coldness of isolation, the void of lacking compassion. Dismissing the striving for unity, as the Body of Christ and instead reigning in power on a self-motivated trajectory. The inability to love one’s neighbor, for one does not know who their neighbor is on a human level. The inability to love God as personal plans supersede the way He invites to love inclusively without deference to immigration status. And to love God and neighbor, we must know how to love ourselves. Realizing we are not unidimensional, but beings fueled by the intellect of our mind, the passion of our heart and Divine essence of our soul. The need to seek a balance of activities, pursuits defining clarity of thought, delving into what spiritual gifts and graces fuels the deepest desires of our heart and pursuing the infiniteness of the Divine to grasp our true identity. The union with God defining our peace and desiring that peace for our neighbor across the fence, across the field, across lines of nationalism etched in the sand or beyond the infinite drops of water comprising the depths of the seas. A place where we don’t allow ourselves to be pushed around, victimized, exploited, but realize the obligation to speak out when injustice dislodges the balance of right relationships, spiritual and human. The obligation to act, for silence is only complicit, condones the negativity of hate, social sin rendering love a mirage fleeing into the horizon. Keeping the Lord’s word is our act of love uniting us to Him and the Father, while uniting us to each other. For observing anything less than His word, we cease seeing another as ourselves and they become “other”, the next alien derogatively chronicled in the history of humanity.
Individual Reflection: Matthew 22:34-40
Learn and share resources from the Center for Migration Studies
Family Reflection: Exodus 22:20-26
What can your family do to support aliens in your community? How can your parish become more involved in welcoming immigrants?
Prayer: Vision Prayer from Old St Pat’s Parish Chicago
Lord of Light, you have looked upon your creation and affirmed its goodness.
Sharpen our visions so that we may see the world with your eyes.
With your eyes there will be no stranger only the children of God waiting to be welcomed.
With your eyes we will not miss the exquisite beauty present all around us that stirs our hearts and gives glory to you.
With your eyes we can see the work you have left for us transforming ourselves, our world, and our church to bring about your dream for us, that all may be one.
Lord of Light you see all things.
Sharpen our vision so that we may see the world with your eyes.
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 October 20, 2020 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.