June 8, 2014: Pentecost Sunday
Catholic Social Teaching: Solidarity
“…Never before has there been such a widespread awareness of the bond of interdependence between individuals and people…” (192) Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
First Reading: Acts 2:1-11
Psalm: 104:1, 24 ,29-30, 31, 34
Second Reading: 1st Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13
Gospel: John 20:19-23
Catechism of the Catholic Church
The mission of Christ and the Holy Spirit is brought to completion in the Church, which is the Body of Christ and the Temple of the Holy Spirit. This joint mission henceforth brings Christ’s faithful to share in his communion with the Father in the Holy Spirit. the Spirit prepares men and goes out to them with his grace, in order to draw them to Christ. the Spirit manifests the risen Lord to them, recalls his word to them and opens their minds to the understanding of his Death and Resurrection. He makes present the mystery of Christ, supremely in the Eucharist, in order to reconcile them, to bring them into communion with God, that they may “bear much fruit.” (737)
From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to Pentecost Sunday, Cycle A
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
The Old Testament presents God as the omnipotent Creator (cf. Gen 2:2; Job 38-41; Ps104; Ps 147) who fashions man in his image and invites him to work the soil (cf. Gen 2:5-6),and cultivate and care for the garden of Eden in which he has placed him (cf. Gen 2:15). To the first human couple God entrusts the task of subduing the earth and exercising dominion over every living creature (cf. Gen 1:28). The dominion exercised by man over other living creatures, however, is not to be despotic or reckless; on the contrary he is to “cultivate and care for” (Gen2:15) the goods created by God. These goods were not created by man, but have been received by him as a precious gift that the Creator has placed under his responsibility. Cultivating the earth means not abandoning it to itself; exercising dominion over it means taking care of it, as a wise king cares for his people and a shepherd his sheep.
In the Creator’s plan, created realities, which are good in themselves, exist for man’s use. The wonder of the mystery of man’s grandeur makes the psalmist exclaim: “What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him little less than god, and crown him with glory and honour. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet” (Ps 8:5-7). (255)
The relationship of man with the world is a constitutive part of his human identity. This relationship is in turn the result of another still deeper relationship between man and God. The Lord has made the human person to be a partner with him in dialogue. Only in dialogue with God does the human being find his truth, from which he draws inspiration and norms to make plans for the future of the world, which is the garden that God has given him to keep and till (cf. Gen 2: 15). Not even sin could remove this duty, although it weighed down this exalted work with pain and suffering (cf. Gen 3:17-19).
Creation is always an object of praise in Israel’s prayer: “O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom have you made them all” (Ps 104:24). Salvation is perceived as a new creationthat re-establishes that harmony and potential for growth that sin had compromised: “I create new heavens and a new earth” (Is 65:17) — says the Lord — in which “the wilderness becomes a fruitful field … and righteousness [will] abide in the fruitful field … My people will abide in a peaceful habitation” (Is 32:1518). (452)
John 20:19, 21, 26
The promise of peace that runs through the entire Old Testament finds its fulfilment in the very person of Jesus. Peace, in fact, is the messianic attribute par excellence, in which all other beneficial effects of salvation are included. The Hebrew word “shalom” expresses this fullness of meaning in its etymological sense of “completeness” (cf. Is 9:5ff; Mic 5:1-4). The kingdom of the Messiah is precisely the kingdom of peace (cf. Job 25:2; Ps 29:11; 37:11; 72:3,7; 85:9,11; 119:165; 125:5, 128:6; 147:14; Song 8:10; Is 26:3,12; 32:17f.; 52:7; 54:10; 57:19; 60:17; 66:12;Hag 2:9; Zech 9:10; et al.). Jesus “is our peace” (Eph 2:14). He has broken down the dividing wall of hostility among people, reconciling them with God (cf. Eph 2:14-16). This is the very effective simplicity with which Saint Paul indicates the radical motivation spurring Christians to undertake a life and a mission of peace.
On the eve of his death, Jesus speaks of his loving relation with the Father and the unifying power that this love bestows upon his disciples. It is a farewell discourse which reveals the profound meaning of his life and can be considered a summary of all his teaching. The gift of peace is the seal on his spiritual testament: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you” (Jn 14:27). The words of the Risen Lord will not be any different; every time that he meets his disciples they receive from him the greeting and gift of peace: “Peace be with you” (Lk24:36; Jn 20:19,21,26). (491)
Professionals in the field of media are not the only people with ethical duties. Those who make use of the media also have obligations. Media operators who try to meet their responsibilities deserve audiences who are aware of their own responsibilities. The first duty of media users is to be discerning and selective. Parents, families and the Church have precise responsibilities they cannot renounce. For those who work, in various capacities, in the area of social communications, the warning of St. Paul rings out loud and clear: “Therefore, putting away falsehood, let every one speak the truth with his neighbour, for we are members one of another … Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for edifying, as fits the occasion, that it may impart grace to those who hear” (Eph 4:25, 29). Serving the human person through the building up of a human community based on solidarity, justice and love, and spreading the truth about human life and its final fulfilment in God remain at the heart of ethics in the media. In the light of faith, human communication can be seen as a journey from Babel to Pentecost, or rather, as the personal and social commitment to overcome the collapse of communication (cf. Gen 11:4-8), opening people to the gift of tongues (cf. Acts 2:5-11), to communication as restored by the power of the Spirit sent by the Son. (562)
1st Corinthians 12:13
“God shows no partiality” (Acts 10:34; cf. Rom 2:11; Gal 2:6; Eph 6:9), since all people have the same dignity as creatures made in his image and likeness. The Incarnation of the Son of God shows the equality of all people with regard to dignity: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:28; cf. Rom 10:12; 1 Cor 12:13, Col 3:11).
Since something of the glory of God shines on the face of every person, the dignity of every person before God is the basis of the dignity of man before other men. Moreover, this is the ultimate foundation of the radical equality and brotherhood among all people, regardless of their race, nation, sex, origin, culture, or class. (144)
At the first Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came to rest on all assembled believers. Speaking in different tongues, not for their own edification, they shared faith with a diversity of people. Today, we are assembled as Church, not in one physical locale, but spiritually united and focused on continuing Christ’s mission. As we are blessed with specific gifts and use them in thanksgiving, we must also affirm and respect the gifts of others, for faith graces all aspects of society. Individually, we cannot be Church. We cannot view our gifts as superior to the gifts of others. Gifts bestowed from a complementary web of inclusion to serve Christ in a vast array of encounters with humanity to renew the face of the earth. Claiming our gifts and venturing forth to use them might invoke fear. How can I make a difference? What will people think of me? I have my “own” work to do. Under the weight of excuses, our gifts pulverize into dust. A loss to strengthen our faith and affirm God’s goodness in the world. We must let doors of fear, hate and superiority be widely opened by letting four words of Jesus unlock our timidity into the freedom of using our gifts, “Peace be with you.” Each time you question your participation as part of the Body of Christ, remember that Jesus sends you forth with peace to use your gift in solidarity with the gifts of all the faithful. You cannot be a missing link, to sever the web of solidarity. Peace is not passive and conforming to the societal status quo, but has the courage to speak out in the face of injustice, inequality and dominance to promote respectful inclusion affirming dignity. For peace does not exist in a vacuum of one’s own microcosm, but reverberates to and fro in the transactions of life. A gift to give and receive.
Individual Reflection: John 20:19-23
What fear keeps you from hearing Jesus say to you, “ Peace be with you?” How does it restrain the effectiveness of using your gift? Pray for the peace and strength to overcome your fear, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Family Reflection: Psalm 104: 1, 24, 29-30, 31, 34
Discuss how you see the workings of the Holy Spirit to renew the face of the earth, in your family, at your parish and in the Church? On Pentecost, take time for an afternoon family retreat of prayer, reflection and discussion that the Holy Spirit graces the lives of all family members in their faith journey.
In Taize style, pray, “Veni, Sancte Spiritus, Come Holy Spirit.”
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.
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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 May 27, 2014 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern