October 23, 2011: 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Catholic Social Teaching: Solidarity
First Reading: Exodus 22:20-26
Second reading: 1st Thessalonians 1:5c-10
Gospel: Matthew 22:34-40
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
Psalm 18: paragraph 378
Matthew 22:37-40: paragraph 112
Matthew 22:40: paragraph 580
“Jesus teaches us that the fundamental law of human perfection and, consequently of the transformation of the world, is the new commandment of love. Personal behavior 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 that can lead to personal and social perfection, allowing society to make progress towards the good.”
In a study of 43,000, 15 to 18 year olds from 78 public and 22 private schools, over 50 percent had bullied or were bullied with physical or verbal abuse. Statistics show one in three middle school students have been bullied. A wrath, if unchecked, can later transfer to abusive relationships or seeds sown for dominance and control in unproductive workplace environments. Many times, the victim cries internally, fearful to speak or become imitators to perpetuate society’s culture of violence. With a heart rooted in love of God, above all else, bullying has no part in one’s actions. For if you love God, you love your neighbor to become imitators of the Lord and joy from the Holy Spirit makes you a model for all believers.
Individual Reflection: 1st Thessalonians 1:5c-10
Visit http://www.peacebuilders.com to learn about their violence prevention curriculum for safe, positive learning environments for children.
Family Reflection: Matthew 22:34-40
Have each family discuss times they bullied or have been bullied and what one might do if bullying is observed in the family, school or workplace.
The reflection may be used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concerns.