September 2, 2012: 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Catholic Social Teaching Theme: Rights and Responsibilities
The Catholic tradition teaches that human dignity can be protected and a healthy community can be achieved only if human rights are protected and responsibilities are met. Therefore, every person has a fundamental right to life and a right to those things required for human decency. Corresponding to these rights are duties and responsibilities – to one another, to our families and to the larger society.
1st Reading: Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-8
2nd Reading: James1:17-18, 21b-22, 27
Gospel: Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23
“This document (The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church) is proposed also to the brethren of other Churches and Ecclesial Communities, to the followers of other religions, as well as to all people of good will who are committed to serving the common good: may they receive it as the fruit of a universal human experience marked by countless signs of the presence of God’s Spirit. It is a treasury of things old and new, which the Church wishes to share, in thanksgiving to God, from whom comes every good endowment and perfect gift…” Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, 12.
“…The word of the Gospel, in fact, is not only to be heard, but it is also to be observed and put into practice. Consistency in behavior shows that one who truly believes…in the context of all their responsibilities…”Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, 70
To enter the land God gives us, we must not fight and challenge God, but freely accept –draw close in Spirit – to take possession of truth in our heart. A land beyond physical reality, grounded in statutes, that walks blamelessly, does justice, slanders not with one’s tongue, harms not in thought or deed another human being and takes not reproach against a neighbor –locally or globally. For in doing justice, we will never be disturbed for we live in the presence of the Lord with transformed hearts not defiled by greed, malice and arrogance. Beyond hearing the word and mere utterances from one’s lips proclaimed far from God, we do the Word to share all good giving and every perfect gift from above.
Lord, help us be attentive to statutes and decrees you teach us to observe in the Word, quietness of prayer and expressions of solidarity. Let us humbly welcome the Word and in truth allow it to flow forth in acts of justice illuminated as a gift of your grace.
Individual Reflection: James 1:21b
What is the most meaningful Word planted in your soul? How does it challenge you?
Family Reflection: Mark 7:8
Discuss human traditions your family observes that keep you distanced from God.
List one or two upcoming events, legislative action alerts or social justice websites
By Barb Born August 2012 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for discussion groups without copyright concerns.