July 31, 2011: 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Catholic Social Teaching: Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
First Reading: Isaiah 55:1-3
Second Reading: Romans 8:35, 37-39
Gospel: Matthew 14:13-21
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church: No references this week
Dollars, pesos, yen or Euros may be folded in our wallets. Plastic debit cards tally purchases from our wages, but fail to satisfy our yearnings. Yet nothing found in a wallet will pay to quench our thirst for the Divine. The Lord provides each of us with a gift card to come, eat, drink milk of symbolic spiritual nourishment and wine of sacramental peace. We shall delight in such rich fare and eat well for the gift card has an unlimited balance and no expiration date. In receiving this gracious gift, we must heedfully listen to have life. Anguish, distress or persecution must not separate us from the love of Christ. Our actions must not dismiss the reality of people unable to buy food for themselves. Do we let them inhabit deserted places to deny their humanity or do we acknowledge the stark, naked reality of homelessness. Thirty seven percent have a disability, 22 percent are children, 58 percent are minorities and during the past three years the use of suburban and rural shelters increased 57 percent. (United States Department of Housing and Urban Development statistics) Can we utilize the gifts Jesus gives us and in turn give of ourselves with talent and time to support the homeless? The hand of the Lord feeds us spiritually and from the bounty of creation. His hand is open in generosity to satisfy the desire of every living thing and we must not let powers or principalities separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord and loving the homeless as brothers and sisters.
Individual Reflection: Isaiah 55:1-3
Take everything out of your wallet and lay it on the table. How does the content of your wallet reflect who you are?
Family Reflection: Matthew 14:13-21
As a family do the weekly grocery shopping together. One week spend only 50 percent of your normal budget and talk about making food choices with a limited budget, along with the challenges to provide adequate nutrition. Discuss the lived reality of food insecurity for over a billion people in the world today.
The reflection may be used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concerns.