September 28, 2014: Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Catholic Social Teaching: Solidarity
“Faith in Jesus Christ makes it possible to have a correct understanding of social development, in the context of an integral and solidary humanism. In this regard, the contribution of theological reflection offered by the Church’s social Magisterium is very useful: “Faith in Christ the Redeemer, while it illuminates from within the nature of development, also guides us in the task of collaboration. In the Letter of St. Paul to the Colossians, we read that Christ is ‘the firstborn of all creation,’ and that ‘all things were created through him’ and for him (Col 1:15-16). In fact, ‘all things hold together in him’, since ‘in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things’ (v. 20). A part of this divine plan, which begins from eternity in Christ, the perfect ‘image’ of the Father, and which culminates in him, ‘the firstborn from the dead’ (v. 15-18), in our own history, marked by our personal and collective effort to raise up the human condition and to overcome the obstacles which are continually arising along our way. It thus prepares us to share in the fullness which ‘dwells in the Lord’ and which he communicates ‘to his body, which is the Church’ (v. 18; cf. Eph 1:22-23). At the same time sin, which is always attempting to trap us and which jeopardizes our human achievements, is conquered and redeemed by the ‘reconciliation’ accomplished by Christ (cf. Col 1:20)”. (327) Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
First Reading: Ezekiel 18:25-28
Psalm: 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9
Second Reading: Philippians 2:1-11
Gospel: Matthew 21:28-32
Catechism of the Catholic Church
Before we make our own this first exclamation of the Lord’s Prayer, we must humbly cleanse our hearts of certain false images drawn “from this world.” Humility makes us recognize that “no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him,” that is, “to little children.” The purification of our hearts has to do with paternal or maternal images, stemming from our personal and cultural history, and influencing our relationship with God. God our Father transcends the categories of the created world. To impose our own ideas in this area “upon him” would be to fabricate idols to adore or pull down. To pray to the Father is to enter into his mystery as he is and as the Son has revealed him to us.
The expression God the Father had never been revealed to anyone. When Moses himself asked God who he was, he heard another name. the Father’s name has been revealed to us in the Son, for the name “Son” implies the new name “Father.” (2779)
From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:
“The unsurpassed apex of the perspective indicated here is the life of Jesus of Nazareth, the New Man, who is one with humanity even to the point of “death on a cross” (Phil 2:8). In him it is always possible to recognize the living sign of that measureless and transcendent love of God-with-us, who takes on the infirmities of his people, walks with them, saves them and makes them one. In him and thanks to him, life in society too, despite all its contradictions and ambiguities, can be rediscovered as a place of life and hope, in that it is a sign of grace that is continuously offered to all and because it is an invitation to ever higher and more involved forms of sharing.
Jesus of Nazareth makes the connection between solidarity and charity shine brightly before all, illuminating the entire meaning of this connection. “In the light of faith, solidarity seeks to go beyond itself, to take on the specifically Christian dimensions of total gratuity, forgiveness and reconciliation. One’s neighbour is then not only a human being with his or her own rights and a fundamental equality with everyone else, but becomes the living imageof God the Father, redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ and placed under the permanent action of the Holy Spirit. One’s neighbour must therefore be loved, even if an enemy, with the same love with which the Lord loves him or her; and for that person’s sake one must be ready for sacrifice, even the ultimate one: to lay down one’s life for the brethren (cf. 1 Jn3:16).”(196)
God teaches us His paths, so we freely change our minds from seeing the grace of His ways. We are not called to be phonies, “Yes People”, telling people what they want to hear, to placate their feelings, with no intention or commitment to follow through. The way of righteousness acknowledges iniquity that is unfair with selfishness or initiated out of vain glory leading to a death of relationships. A relationship to our being created in the image and likeness of God that dies into selfishness. A relationship to humanity that dies into prioritizing self-interest over the common good. A relationship to God that dies into separation from Divine love, kindness and goodness. But God desires to show us the way, what is right and just, a solace, encouragement, participating in the Spirit, with compassion and mercy emulating from humbleness. An absence of vanity, not proud, arrogant or assertive, living humbly seeks to look out not for one’s interest, but the interest of others. An attitude Christ Jesus displayed in emptying Himself into the relationship of obedience to humanity. Living humbly proclaims life is not about me, but we, as we work in the vineyard of the Lord. Humble hearts’ openness and receptivity malleably allows God to guide them on a path to justice and teaching His ways.
Without humbleness, a void of compassion and humbleness exists, so justice seems irrelevant, a waste of time, too much trouble or some “do-gooder” cause. What cause are you insensitive to, think it is someone else’s issue or just down right apathetic about? In the dynamics of your free will, examine your heart to seek why you say, “I don’t need to be concerned” and pray for the grace of humbleness and a change of heart to joyfully work in the Lord’s vineyard. In the sun you may feel parched, the wind may bristle your face and the spiritual muscle of your heart ache from seeing the insensitivity to justice all around, but live with a changed mind and heart and acclaim belief !
Individual Reflection: Philippians 2:1-11
September 29th is the Feast of the Archangels, Michael, Gabriel and Raphael and October 2nd is the Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels. Reflect on these holy protectors and messengers that accompany you on your faith journey.
Family Reflection: Matthew 21:28-32
Talk about how we say “Yes” throughout the liturgy of the Mass. Do you follow through on your “Yes” throughout the week?
Lord, let us be “Yes People”, in sincerity and humbleness of your ways. Thank you for teaching us that self-interest severs our relationship to You and the Father and spirals life into a death of meaning. Help us, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to nurture our work in your vineyard today and every day. For in our belief, manifest though our free will, we trust you to guide us to justice and continually teach us your ways. In your dear name, Jesus, we pray AMEN
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 September 12, 2014 (Memorial of the Most Holy Name of Mary) The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.