January 15, 2012: 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Catholic Social Teaching: Rights and Responsibilities
First Reading: 1st Samuel 3:3b-10, 19
Second Reading: 1st Corinthians 6:13c-15a, 17-20
Gospel: John 1:35-42
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
1st Corinthians 6:20 paragraphs 1 and 578
“…The Church continues to speak to all people and all nations…Salvation…is achieved in the new life that awaits the righteous after death, but it also permeates this world in the realities of the economy and labor, of technology and communications, of society and politics, of the international community and the relations among cultures and peoples. Jesus came to bring integral salvation, one which embodies the whole person and all mankind, and open up the wondrous prospect of of divine filiation.” Paragraph 1
“The Church teaches men and women that God offers them the real possibility of overcoming evil and attaining good…founded on the certainty which gives rise to hope despite the sin that deeply marks human history. The divine promise guarantees that the world does not remain closed in upon itself but is open to the Kingdom of God…there exists in the human person sufficient qualities and energies, a fundamental “goodness”…because he is the image of the Creator…paragraph 578
Idolatry manifests itself in today’s culture through patriotism, allegiance to a sports team and support for the military. People may wear a t-shirt, have a bumper sticker on their car or overtly express verbiage of their imposter deity. Trust in God becomes displaced. Other people, countries or ideologies emerge as enemies. A sense of hope deteriorates into an affluence of dominance and security wrapped in superiority. Idolatry mutes God’s call, the Holy Spirit’s indwelling and a person’s response of “Lord, I come to do your will. One’s lips, restrained by myopic vision, cease to announce God’s justice and mercy for all, for divine law is replaced by the law of human preponderance in people’s hearts grasping selfish desires. Jesus asks each of us, “What are you looking for?” Will we ignore the invitation to “Come and you will see”, to reverence transitory idols or follow the Messiah?
Individual Reflection: John 1:35-42
When you see someone at Mass wearing a patriotic t-shirt or promoting the military, ask them a question like: Is your faith first in God or your country? When you receive the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, the Prince of Peace, how come you wear a t-shirt supporting the culture of violence in the world?
Family Reflection: Psalm 40
Monday, January 16th, we remember the non-violence legacy of Dr Martin Luther King Jr in seeking civil rights. Talk about racism or social inequalities in your neighborhood today and how non-violent actions might alleviate inequalities that deny human dignity.
The reflection may be reproduced for use in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concerns