July 20, 2014: Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Catholic Social Teaching: Solidarity
“In a world of social and economic strife, solidarity calls us to see others, locally and globally, as our brothers and sisters. People do not become someone to exploit and demean, but we affirm their life as part of the human family…” From https://cst74life.wordpress.com/
First Reading: Wisdom 12:13, 16-19
Psalm: 86:5-6, 9-10, 15-16
Second Reading: Romans 8:26-27
Gospel: Matthew 13:24-43
Catechism of the Catholic Church
The truth that God is at work in all the actions of his creatures is inseparable from faith in God the Creator. God is the first cause who operates in and through secondary causes: “For God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”171 Far from diminishing the creature’s dignity, this truth enhances it. Drawn from nothingness by God’s power, wisdom and goodness, it can do nothing if it is cut off from its origin, for “without a Creator the creature vanishes.”172 Still less can a creature attain its ultimate end without the help of God’s grace.
From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
The definitive salvation that God offers to all humanity through his own Son does not come about outside of this world. While wounded by sin, the world is destined to undergo a radical purification (cf. 2 Pet 3:10) that will make it a renewed world (cf. Is 65:17, 66:22; Rev21:1), finally becoming the place where “righteousness dwells” (2 Pet 3:13).
In his public ministry, Jesus makes use of natural elements. Not only is he a knowledgeable interpreter of nature, speaking of it in images and parables, but he also dominates it (cf. the episode of the calming of the storm in Mt 14:22-33; Mk 6:45-52; Lc 8:22-25; Jn 6:16-21). The Lord puts nature at the service of his plan of redemption. He asks his disciples to look at things, at the seasons and at people with the trust of children who know that they will never be abandoned by a provident Father (cf. Lk 11:11-13). Far from being enslaved by things, the disciple of Jesus must know how to use them in order to bring about sharing and brotherhood (cf. Lk 16:9-13).
Romans Chapter 8
The salvation offered in its fullness to men in Jesus Christ by God the Father’s initiative, and brought about and transmitted by the work of the Holy Spirit, is salvation for all people and of the whole person: it is universal and integral salvation. It concerns the human person in all his dimensions: personal and social, spiritual and corporeal, historical and transcendent. It begins to be made a reality already in history, because what is created is good and willed by God, and because the Son of God became one of us. Its completion, however, is in the future, when we shall be called, together with all creation (cf. Rom 8), to share in Christ’s resurrection and in the eternal communion of life with the Father in the joy of the Holy Spirit. This outlook shows quite clearly the error and deception of purely immanentistic visions of the meaning of history and in humanity’s claims to self-salvation.
With the unceasing amazement of those who have experienced the inexpressible love of God (cf. Rom 8:26), the New Testament grasps, in the light of the full revelation of Trinitarian love offered by the Passover of Jesus Christ, the ultimate meaning of the Incarnation of the Son and his mission among men and women. Saint Paul writes: “If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, will he not also give us all things with him?” (Rom 8:31-32). Similar language is used also by Saint John: “In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins” (1 Jn 4:10).
God empowers the faithful to live among the weeds, the challenges all around. But humanity rooted in a just perspective seeks to uproot the weeds, for they seek to expediently distance themselves from those not akin to themselves. Difficult people, those sprouted from greed, control or lust. But true justice exudes kindness, to others and all creation, in the realization we all have essences of weeds in our lives! The justice the Lord gives, forgiving and abounding in kindness to all who call upon Him, we should emulate. Where humanity sees unsightly weeds, the Lord sees potential for them to bear a fruitful harvest. For in confusion, despair, the Spirit comes to the aid of weakness, when prayer is unfathomable, so goodness can blossom forth in the weed. With this perspective, we must not isolate ourselves from weeds, with faith rooted in just devotions, but welcome the weeds as our neighbors. Then we let the Lord’s kindness be the fruitfulness of our lives, instead of inflicting condemnation on the weeds and they wilt under scorching guilt. Kindness acts as yeast to leaven a compassionate humanity.
We must pray to live with the mercy God imparts on us, to let anger not consume us, least we are consumed like unfruitful weeds. The Divine’s fidelity gives us strength, for when the world wallows in disbelief, the perfection of God’s power judges with clemency, much leniency, from His mastery over all things. Through this good grounding, we are taught hope, for that what appears to us as weeds can bear fruit, even in latency. In faith, our hope grasps the eternal maximum.
Individual Reflection: Matthew 13:24-43
Share info about Ignatian Volunteer Corps with your parish:
Family Reflection: Psalm 86:5-6, 9-10, 15-16
What project will your family do this week to share the kindness the Lord has shown you?
At the end of each day this week, spend time reflecting on the kindness that has been shown you during the day and how you have shown kindness to others. Let your life be a prayer !
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 July 8,, 2014 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern