September 6, 2015: Twenty-third Sunday of Ordinary Time
Catholic Social Teaching: Solidarity
The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change. The Creator does not abandon us; he never forsakes his loving plan or repents of having created us. Humanity still has the ability to work together in building our common home. Here I want to recognize, encourage and thank all those striving in countless ways to guarantee the protection of the home which we share. Particular appreciation is owed to those who tirelessly seek to resolve the tragic effects of environmental degradation on the lives of the world’s poorest. Young people demand change. They wonder how anyone can claim to be building a better future without thinking of the environmental crisis and the sufferings of the excluded. (13) Laudato Si Pope Francis
First Reading: Isaiah 35:4-7a
Psalm: 146:7, 8-9, 9-10
Second Reading: James 2:1-5
Gospel: Mark 7:31-37
Catechism of the Catholic Church
Socio-economic problems can be resolved only with the help of all the forms of solidarity: solidarity of the poor among themselves, between rich and poor, of workers among themselves, between employers and employees in a business, solidarity among nations and peoples. International solidarity is a requirement of the moral order; world peace depends in part upon this. (1941)
From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Twenty-third Sunday of Ordinary Time, Cycle B
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:
Only the recognition of human dignity can make possible the common and personal growth of everyone (cf. Jas 2:1-9). To stimulate this kind of growth it is necessary in particular to help the least, effectively ensuring conditions of equal opportunity for men and women and guaranteeing an objective equality between the different social classes before the law.
Also in relations between peoples and States, conditions of equality and parity are prerequisites for the authentic progress of the international community. Despite the steps taken in this direction, it must not forget that there still exist many inequalities and forms of dependence.
Together with equality in the recognition of the dignity of each person and of every people there must also be an awareness that it will be possible to safeguard and promote human dignity only if this is done as a community, by the whole of humanity. Only through the mutual action of individuals and peoples sincerely concerned for the good of all men and women can a genuine universal brotherhood be attained; otherwise, the persistence of conditions of serious disparity and inequality will make us all poorer. (145)
The justice of setting captives free, a process of opening eyes blinded from the fear of being drawn into a struggle they could easily be ambivalent to, must be grounded in solidarity. Competition spurned, for to be the best must ignore the collective well-being of the rest in desiring self-achievable goals. We must show no partiality, as our Lord exemplified on the cross or in the offering of His body and blood. Partiality implies distinction, classification most often by race, economic status and gender. A deference riddled by invitation and platitudes of please versus commands demanding obedience. A process of judging, blinded from not knowing all the facts hidden in the recesses of experience, insight from struggles, richness not quantifiable in monetary dimensions. There is hope the status quo can be remolded, opened to inclusion. If only we go to the Lord seeking to shed our blindness, allowing ourselves to be touched in the vulnerability of moving beyond me as a witness to the astonishment of infinite possibilities to sustain the least affirmed and thwarts all forms of wickedness. Freedom becomes redefined from pursuing dominance to openly affirm equally the dignity of each human person by loving and living as our Savior models for us.
Individual Reflection: James 2:1-5
Who is disenfranchised in your parish, left to feel as outsiders? How might they become more welcomed? What steps will you take to encourage this?
Family Reflection: Psalm 146:7, 8-9, 9-10
September 9th is the memorial of St Peter Claver, a Jesuit missionary that ministered to African slaves in South America during the 1600’s. Read about his life and witness in service to the oppressed. Who is oppressed in your community? How might your family serve them? What actions will you take?
Prayer: From Prayer Over the Offerings for Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
O God, who gives us the gift of true prayer and of peace, graciously grant that through this offering, we may do fitting homage to your divine majesty and by partaking of the sacred mystery, we may be fully united in mind and heart. Through Christ our Lord. 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, August 22, 2015 Queenship of Mary The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.