December 4, 2011: 2nd Sunday of Advent
Catholic Social Teaching: Solidarity
First Reading: Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11
Second Reading: 2nd Peter 3:8-14
Gospel: Mark 1:1-8
Compendium of The Social Doctrine of the Church
Psalm 85: 9 and 11 paragraphs 490 and 491
2nd Peter 3:10 paragraph 453
2nd Peter 3:13 paragraphs 56, 82 and 453
“Peace is the goal of life in society, as is made extraordinarily clear in the messianic vision of peace, when all peoples will go up to the Lord’s house, and he will teach them his ways and they will walk along the ways of peace.
…The promise of peace that runs through the entire Old Testament finds it fulfillment in the very person of Jesus. Jesus is our peace. He has broken down the dividing wall of hostility among people, reconciling them with God. This is the very effective simplicity with which St Paul indicates the radical motivation spurring Christians to undertake a life and mission of peace…” paragraphs 490 and 491
“The intent of the Church’s social doctrine is of the religious and moral order…that is to say at the liberation from everything that oppresses man…The Church’s social doctrine indicates the path to follow for a society reconciled and in harmony through justice and love…” paragraph 82
Justice may conjure images of harsh mandates rooted in power and control. Biblical justice manifests itself in right relationships. To speak the truth while exhibiting kindness explains rationale with facts and addresses concerns to reach a vision by consensus not dictate. Peace flows from the messianic vision of justice to prepare the way for inclusion of those exiled in demeaning slander. When paths seem wrought with curves concealing unknown consequences, faith allow us to fear not when proclaiming peace to yield its increase. We may feel unworthy as messengers, but sandals are securely on all our feet. For we have felt the water of baptism and spiritual fire of the Holy Spirit, so we walk forward for peace to straighten paths of injustice.
Individual Reflection: Psalm 85
Raise awareness of peace building, by giving the gift of a Pax Christi membership and a copy of Fr John Dear’s new book, Lazarus Come Forth, to a friend or family member this Christmas season.
Family Reflection: Mark 1:1-8
Instead of writing Christmas cards, as a family, write a one page peace newsletter to celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace. Include peace quotes, interview some one in your town that works for justice and list several opportunities or ideas that recipients of your newsletter might do in 2012 to work for justice and peace.
The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concerns.