February 16, 2014: Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Catholic Social Teaching: Solidarity
“In a world of social and economic strife, solidarity calls us to see others, local and globally, as our brothers and sisters. People do not become someone to exploit and demean, buy we affirm their life as part of the human family. Solidarity calls us to respect life by pursuing peace and justice to dispel the culture of violence in the world.” From: https://cst74life.wordpress.com/
First Reading: Sirach 15:15-20
Psalm: 119:1-2, 4-5, 17-18, 33-34
Second Reading: 1st Corinthians 2:6-10
Gospel: Matthew: 5:17-37
Catechism of the Catholic Church.
“The New Law is called a law of love because it makes us act out of the love infused by the Holy Spirit, rather than from fear; a law of grace, because it confers the strength of grace to act, by means of faith and the sacraments; a law of freedom, because it sets us free from the ritual and juridical observances of the Old Law, inclines us to act spontaneously by the prompting of charity and finally, lets us pass from the condition of a servant who ‘does not know what his master is doing’ to that of a friend of Christ…” (1972) From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church: no references this week
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An exclamation of raqa piled insult and scorn on one’s brother or sister. Not just in a verbal exchange with immediate family members, but the lineage of humanity. In today’s culture, a similar expression would label someone as a blockhead or idiot. These expressions, insulting epithets, lead to a killing of people’s dignity. Disrespect and belittling treatment fosters a culture of me and you, us and them, not an inclusive us. Right relationships, grounded in respect, cease to exist. God does not issue us a license to sin or command us to act unjustly, but to stretch out our hand to choose between good and evil. To live with a spirit of reconciliation means building right relationships of equity and trust, with a foundation of justice. When individual or societal relationships exist in a vacuum void of justice, we must address inequity, so it will not fester. This must not froth forth as anger towards the insensitive, power motivated “brother or sister”, but with a heart trusting in God’s way. A process of prayerful discernment to not neglect the responsibility of highlighting injustice or disrespect inflicted on others or oneself that kills human dignity. For when we address injustice inflicted by a “brother or sister”, we don’t say, “You are a blockhead.” We dialogue, raise questions of why they stretched out their hand toward evil out of concern for them to open their eyes and see God’s mysterious wisdom that eclipses human efficacy. Wisdom calling out for dialogue to seek reconciliation and right relationships not glossed over by ritualistic actions or pious prayers. Those experiencing these words and actions of reconciliation may feel challenged and bristle, but we must let expressions of respect and inclusivity offer a positive affirmation of YES towards a resolve to follow God’s commandments.
Individual Reflection: Matthew 5:17:37
Read the book Jonah, Jesus and Other Good Coyotes, by Dr. Daniel Smith-Christopher. How do you need to “cross boarders” to foster reconciliation and address injustice within your family and broader world view? List seven actions or conversations you need to prayerfully initiate.
Family Reflection: Psalm 119:1-2, 4-5, 17-28. 33-34
Have each family member share what they need to “open their eyes to”.
God give us a heart that rejects anger and the courage to voice the lament of injustice with the hope of transformation. May this path lead us to a world infused with reconciliation. Help us to foster right relationships in our cultural, social and economic milieu. When we stray towards dominance, open our eyes to consider the wonder of your law and instruct us in the way of your statutes. Thank you for your commandment of love and transform us to seek it with all our hearts.
Blogs to Visit:
As we reflect upon Mary’s presence in the mysteries of the Rosary, we are blessed to know her. For her journey, a timeless trek, calls us to surrender, continuing conversion, humbleness and justice now.
Weekly lectionary reflections, for faith sharing groups, parish bulletins, newsletters or personal prayer, from the synergy of the Word we hear and the rich tradition of Catholic Social Teaching.
Catholic Social Teaching offers seven principles for upholding life in our thoughts, decisions and actions.
How we do Catholic Social Teaching.
Creation sustainability ministry resources in the spirit of the St Francis Pledge.
List one or two upcoming events, legislative action alerts or social justice websites
By Barb Born February 3, 2014 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern