February 8, 2015: Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Catholic Social Teaching: Care for God’s Creation
“We show our respect for the Creator by our stewardship of creation…” Themes from Catholic Social Teaching, USCCB
See also (255) from Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church listed below
First Reading: Job 7:1-4, 6-7
Psalm: 147:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
Second Reading: 1st Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-23
Gospel: Mark 1:29-39
Catechism of the Catholic Church
The duty of offering God genuine worship concerns man both individually and socially. This is “the traditional Catholic teaching on the moral duty of individuals and societies toward the true religion and the one Church of Christ.” By constantly evangelizing men, the Church works toward enabling them “to infuse the Christian spirit into the mentality and mores, laws and structures of the communities in which [they] live.” The social duty of Christians is to respect and awaken in each man the love of the true and the good. It requires them to make known the worship of the one true religion which subsists in the Catholic and apostolic Church. Christians are called to be the light of the world. Thus, the Church shows forth the kingship of Christ over all creation and in particular over human societies. (2105)
From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B
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” (Gen 2:15) 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)
1st Corinthians 9:16
This right of the Church is at the same time a duty, because she cannot forsake this responsibility without denying herself and her fidelity to Christ: “Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel!” (1 Cor 9:16). The warning that St. Paul addresses to himself rings in the Church’s conscience as a call to walk all paths of evangelization, not only those that lead to individual consciences but also those that wind their way into public institutions: on the one hand, religion must not be restricted “to the purely private sphere”, on the other, the Christian message must not be relegated to a purely other-worldly salvation incapable of shedding light on our earthly existence (71).
The entire people of God has a role to play as the Church fulfils her mission. In various ways and through every member according to the gifts and the manner of acting proper to each vocation, the people of God must respond to the duty to proclaim and bear witness to the Gospel (cf. 1 Cor 9:16), in the awareness that “missionary activity is a matter for all Christians”.
Pastoral work in the social sector is also meant for all Christians, who are called to become active subjects in bearing witness to this social doctrine and to be fully part of the solid tradition of the “fruitful activity of many millions of people, who, spurred on by the social Magisterium, have sought to make that teaching the inspiration for their involvement in the world”. Acting either as individuals or together with others in various groups, associations and organizations, Christians of today represent “a great movement for the defence of the human person and the safeguarding of human dignity”. (538)
For complete text visit: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/justpeace/documents/rc_pc_justpeace_doc_20060526_compendio-dott-soc_en.html
Entrusted with the stewardship of the Gospel, we must follow the example of Jesus. To spend time in a deserted place to pray may not mean journeying to the desert or sitting by the seashore watching the dawn unfold, but a place of silence from the chatter of society. A time to coalesce our journey with the Lord, so we realize our participation in the Gospel is not for boasting about our deeds. Instead our ministry should define acts of praise for the healing of our brokenness, the rebuilding of sacredness in our lives from the exile of dispersion. A diaspora not forced by physical conquest, but lives drained of a theological context, doomed to drudgery, lacking hope, demons of despair. The challenge is to see the Gospel encompassing the place of personal salvation and the public sphere. For when we are receptive, we see God permeates all aspects of our lives, seen and unseen, heard and unheard, lived and the life to come. Busyness saps the spectrum of belief so tasks shrivel into a checklist of existence. Structure prayer, reflection and retreat as a necessity of life to preach the Gospel with relevance, not indifference, to social matters, human affairs, our interconnectedness as inspiration for involvement in the world, as Jesus was involved in the world teaching, preaching and dispelling personal and philosophical demons. Anything less and we are troubled and restless, awaiting the dawn of meaning and hope.
Individual Reflection: Job 7:1-4, 6-7
Do you know someone that has the attitude that Job expresses in this reading? How might you share the Gospel with them, not necessarily with words, but by prayer and actions?
Family Reflection :Psalm 147:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
February 11th is Our Lady of Lourdes. “…The message of Lourdes is a call to conversion, prayer and charity.” (Daily Roman Missal) In a book or on the Internet read more about Lourdes. As a family, discuss how Mary’s apparitions reflect healing, hope and peace.
Each day this week spend 15 minutes in silent 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, January 26, 2015 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.