June 29, 2014: Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Catholic Social Teaching: Solidarity
“…Solidarity is also an authentic moral virtue, not a feeling of vague compassion or shallow distress at the misfortunes of so many people, both near and far. On the contrary, it is a firm and preserving determination to commit oneself to the common good…” Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, 193
First Reading: 2nd Kings 4:8-11, 14-16a
Psalm: 89:2-3, 16-17, 18-19
Second Reading: Romans 6:3-4, 8-11
Gospel: Matthew 10:37-42
Catechism of the Catholic Church
“The way of perfection passes by way of the Cross. There is no holiness without renunciation and spiritual battle. Spiritual progress entails the ascesis and mortification that gradually lead to living in the peace and joy of the Beatitudes:
He who climbs never stops going from beginning to beginning, through beginnings that have no end. He never stops desiring what he already knows.” (2015)
From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
The prototype of the king chosen by Yahweh is David, whose humble origins are a favourite topic of the biblical account (cf. 1 Sam 16:1-13). David is the recipient of the promise (cf. 2 Sam 7:13-16; Ps 89:2-38, 132:11-18), which places him at the beginning of a special kingly tradition, the “messianic” tradition. Notwithstanding all the sins and infidelities of David and his successors, this tradition culminates in Jesus Christ, who is par excellence “Yahweh’s anointed” (that is, “the Lord’s consecrated one”, cf. 1 Sam 2:35, 24:7,11, 26:9,16; Ex 30:22-32), the son of David (cf. Mt 1:1-17; Lk 3:23-38; Rom 1:3).
The failure of kingship on the historical level does not lead to the disappearance of the ideal of a king who, in fidelity to Yahweh, will govern with wisdom and act in justice. This hope reappears time and again in the Psalms (cf. Ps 2, 18, 20, 21, 72). In the messianic oracles, the figure of a king endowed with the Lord’s Spirit, full of wisdom and capable of rendering justice to the poor, is awaited in eschatological times (cf. Is 11:2-5; Jer 23:5-6). As true shepherd of the people of Israel (cf. Ezek 34:23-24, 37:24), he will bring peace to the nations (cf. Zech 9:9-10). In Wisdom Literature, the king is presented as the one who renders just judgments and abhors iniquity (cf. Prov 16:12), who judges the poor with equity (cf. Prov 29:14) and is a friend to those with a pure heart (cf. Prov 22:11). There is a gradual unfolding of the proclamation of what the Gospels and other New Testament writings see fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth, the definitive incarnation of what the Old Testament foretold about the figure of the king. (378)
The new relationships of interdependence between individuals and peoples, which are de facto forms of solidarity, have to be transformed into relationships tending towards genuine ethical-social solidarity. This is a moral requirement inherent within all human relationships. Solidarity is seen therefore under two complementary aspects: that of a social principle and that of a moral virtue.
Solidarity must be seen above all in its value as a moral virtue that determines the order of institutions. On the basis of this principle the “structures of sin” that dominate relationships between individuals and peoples must be overcome. They must be purified and transformed intostructures of solidarity through the creation or appropriate modification of laws, market regulations, and juridical systems.
Solidarity is also an authentic moral virtue, not a “feeling of vague compassion or shallow distress at the misfortunes of so many people, both near and far. On the contrary, it is a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good. That is to say to the good of all and of each individual, because we are all really responsible for all”. Solidarity rises to the rank of fundamental social virtue since it places itself in the sphere of justice. It is a virtue directedpar excellence to the common good, and is found in “a commitment to the good of one’s neighbour with the readiness, in the Gospel sense, to ‘lose oneself’ for the sake of the other instead of exploiting him, and to ‘serve him’ instead of oppressing him for one’s own advantage (cf. Mt10:40-42, 20:25; Mk 10:42-45; Lk 22:25-27)”. (193)
When have you welcomed a prophet? Writings etched in scripture, the words of a friend, a contemporary Micah challenging the status quo are all prophetic voices. Their words should not make our hearts feel heavy with doom, but lightened with courage to seek a path prioritizing and graced with the Divine. We should not shrink from living with prophetic words and action, for in our baptism we share in Christ’s priestly, prophetic and royal office.
“The Christian faithful are those who, inasmuch as they have been incorporated in Christ through Baptism, have been constituted as the people of God; for this reason, since they have become sharers in Christ’s priestly, prophetic, and royal office in their own manner, they are called to exercise the mission which God has entrusted to the Church to fulfill in the world, in accord with the condition proper to each one.” Catechism of the Catholic Church, 871
Prophetic words not of venomous judgment, but sharing the Lord’s faithfulness, goodness and blessings. Living with a prophetic demeanor, we convey the newness of life from our death to sin, where we do not live for ourselves, but for God in Christ Jesus. In this transformation, we lose our life for the sake of the Lord to find the way of God. Only when our love is prioritized to the Lord, can we truly love and receive others and live a life of service to the marginalized. For we know our reward is not weighed in financial compensation, but bestowed through the gift of faith. As we go forth from Mass, live with our families, go to work or walk down the street, our baptism calls us to be the presence of Christ in the world. When people greet and receive us, do they receive the wonderful light of the Lord and the One who sent Him (Alleluia refrain 1st Peter 2:9) or does the darkness of self-indulgence stymie the potential of a prophet way of life embedded with actions that radiate the goodness of the Lord?
Individual Reflection:2nd Kings 4:8-11,, 14-16a
What can you do to welcome the words of a prophet, be heeding their challenge to incorporate their words into the reality of your life?
Family Reflection: Matthew 10:37-42
Have each family member share who they view as significant prophets today and how they accept their modern day challenges. How do modern day prophets echo the prophets of antiquity?
Pray that the words of Micah 6:8 might be rooted and reflected in our lives.
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 June 14, 2014 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern