July 27, 2014: Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Catholic Social Teaching: Look at the downloadable resources for The Two Feet of Love in Action:
“The pilgrimage of love is an ongoing, life-long journey of growth. This journey is not taken alone, but together with others as we seek God’s kingdom of justice.”
First Reading:1st Kings 3:5, 7-12
Psalm: 119:57, 72, 76-77, 127-128, 129-1130
Second Reading: Romans 8:28-30
Gospel: Matthew 13:44-52
Catechism of the Catholic Church
We can therefore hope in the glory of heaven promised by God to those who love him and do his will. In every circumstance, each one of us should hope, with the grace of God, to persevere “to the end” and to obtain the joy of heaven, as God’s eternal reward for the good works accomplished with the grace of Christ. In hope, the Church prays for “all men to be saved.” She longs to be united with Christ, her Bridegroom, in the glory of heaven:
Hope, O my soul, hope. You know neither the day nor the hour. Watch carefully, for everything passes quickly, even though your impatience makes doubtful what is certain, and turns a very short time into a long one. Dream that the more you struggle, the more you prove the love that you bear your God, and the more you will rejoice one day with your Beloved, in a happiness and rapture that can never end. (1821)
From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
This document is proposed also to the brethren of other Churches and Ecclesial Communities, to the followers of other religions, as well as to all people of good will who are committed to serving the common good: may they receive it as the fruit of a universal human experience marked by countless signs of the presence of God’s Spirit. It is a treasury of things old and new (cf. Mt 13:52), which the Church wishes to share, in thanksgiving to God, from whom comes “every good endowment and ever perfect gift” (Jas 1:17). It is a sign of hope in the fact that religions and cultures today show openness to dialogue and sense the urgent need to join forces in promoting justice, fraternity, peace and the growth of the human person.
The Catholic Church joins her own commitment to that made in the social field by other Churches and Ecclesial Communities, whether at the level of doctrinal reflection or at the practical level. Together with them, the Catholic Church is convinced that from the common heritage of social teachings preserved by the living tradition of the people of God there will come motivations and orientations for an ever closer cooperation in the promotion of justice and peace
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.
Christian realism sees the abysses of sin, but in the light of the hope, greater than any evil, given by Jesus Christ’s act of redemption, in which sin and death are destroyed (cf. Rom5:18-21; 1 Cor 15:56-57): “In him God reconciled man to himself”. It is Christ, the image of God (cf. 2 Cor 4:4; Col 1:15), who enlightens fully and brings to completion the image and likeness of God in man. The Word that became man in Jesus Christ has always been mankind’s life and light, the light that enlightens every person (cf. Jn 1:4,9). God desires in the one mediator Jesus Christ, his Son, the salvation of all men and women (cf. 1 Tim 2:4-5). Jesus is at the same time the Son of God and the new Adam, that is, the new man (cf. 1 Cor 15:47-49; Rom 5:14): “Christ the new Adam, in the very revelation of the mystery of the Father and of his love, fully reveals man to himself and brings to light his most high calling”. In him we are, by God, “predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren” (Rom 8:29).
Before we garner the pearl of great price, the decision must be made to sell all we have to purchase the treasure. A time of letting go, of joyfully embracing life-long conversion in realization life has found ultimate fulfillment, To fully experience the treasure, the past must be sold, for it would hinder appreciation of what was found. Idealized dreams of success, comfort, affluence of possessions, status, must be sold for recycling into a new reality. For those experiences caused us to realize what we were missing, leading us to search and find the treasure of joy and peace, knowing hope is greater than our sins of action or omission. Experiences of knowing all things work for good, for those who love God. God’s love instills in us the uncomfortableness with the status quo in our lives to see the treasure in loving God’s commands and observing His decrees more than worldly golden idols, crafted of plastic, metal or wood and the golden idols of our emotions. A comforting kindness embedded in the promise of the treasure, which manifests as understanding more precious than riches, more powerful than oppression of others, for it has the power to continually transform our hearts.
How will you write your parable about finding the treasure in a world beyond yourself, in a life rooted in keeping the Lord’s words of not seeking riches in status, labeling others as enemies to oppress or gilding your persona with possessions? How will you share your parable? The joy of your conversion, the freedom from living under the burden of trying to maintain an identity without purpose and the ongoing, unfolding story of grace. Let your parable be manifest in your actions, your kindness, your generosity of time and your heart for understanding the needs of society, so we respond YES to be the literal and physical scribes of our time.
July 29th is the memorial for St Martha. Read the Gospel for that day, John 11:19-27, of her confession of belief. Reflect on your conversion, from accepting faith to belief. Pray in thanksgiving for your conversion and ask for the ongoing grace to live in the depth of belief.
Family Reflection: Psalm 119:57, 72, 76-77, 127-128, 129-130
Look at resources for the Feast of St Francis from the Catholic Climate Covenant and prayerfully plan to share them with your parish.
FEAST OF ST. FRANCIS 2014
From St. Francis, to Pope Francis,
Write your parable and use it as words of prayer for the next week.
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 15, 2014 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern