February 17, 2013: First Sunday of Lent
Catholic Social Teaching: Care for God’s Creation
“…We should strive to live simply to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. We have a moral obligation to protect the planet on which we live…As stewards called by God to share the responsibility for the future of the earth, we should work for a world in which people respect and protect all creation and seek to live simply in harmony with it for the sake of future generations…:” Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, 54 USCCB
First Reading: Deuteronomy 26:4-10
Psalm: 91:1-2, 10-11, 12-13, 14-15
Second Reading: Romans 10:8-13
Gospel: Luke 4:1-13
Catechism of the Catholic Church
“…man has to struggle to do what is right, and it is at great cost to himself, and aided by God’s grace, that he succeeds in achieving his own inner integrity.”, 409 (Listed in the Roman Missal for the 1st Sunday of Lent, Cycle C introduction)
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
“…A look at history permits one to have an overview of the past and discover God at work from the very beginning …This reflection permits us to look to the future with hope, sustained by the promise and the covenant that God continually renews…”, 451
“The universal destination of goods requires a common effort to obtain for every person and for all peoples the conditions necessary for integral development, so that everyone can contribute to making a more humane world…This principle corresponds to the call made unceasingly by the Gospel to all people and societies and times, tempted as they always are by the desire to possess, temptations which the Lord Jesus chose to undergo in order to teach us how to overcome them with his grace.”, 175
“…Jesus, the promised Messiah, fought against and overcame the temptation of a political messianism, characterized by the subjection of the nations… As the disciples are discussing with one another who is the greatest, Jesus teaches them that they must make themselves least and the servants of all…”, 379
As consumers, just shopping for the basic necessities of life, we face temptations. Do we research websites of clothing manufactures to see if they support safe working conditions and living wages for employees? Are organic and recycled materials incorporated into their manufacturing and packaging? When you replace your car, do you seek luxury and prestige or utility, simplicity and maximize sustainability? How do you prioritize your food budget? Will fair trade, organic and locally grown options be among vegetables, fruits, coffee, chocolate, grains and dairy products on your dining table? We may be tempted to purchase the least expensive option, but at what cost to those that labored to make the good available in the store? Will we tithe, to affirm the goodness of creation, in opting for eco- friendly consumer choices? Can we refrain from purchases that possess perceived status in society and dwell within the realm of simplicity? Consumerism beyond the basic necessities can be a desert for the soul steeped in a sense of power and invincibility. Enriched with the Holy Spirit, faith on our lips and in our heart helps us to fathom that God sustains our existence and provides our daily bread.
Individual Reflection: Romans 10:8-13
Check the website for three brands of clothes and shoes in your closet to evaluate their commitment to socially responsible principles. If they don’t commit themselves to equitable and sustainable practices, write them a letter to express your concerns.
Family Reflection: Luke 4:1-13
Have each family member talk about temptations in their life. After each person shares, pray for the Holy Spirit to offer strength from their temptations and their guardian angel’s protection.
List one or two upcoming events, legislative action alerts or social justice websites
By Barb Born February 2, 2013 Thereflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concerns.