November 29, 2015: First Sunday of Advent
Catholic Social Teaching: Solidarity
The great danger in today’s world, pervaded as it is by consumerism, is the desolation and anguish born of a complacent yet covetous heart, the feverish pursuit of frivolous pleasures, and a blunted conscience. Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor. God’s voice is no longer heard, the quiet joy of his love is no longer felt, and the desire to do good fades. This is a very real danger for believers too. Many fall prey to it, and end up resentful, angry and listless. That is no way to live a dignified and fulfilled life; it is not God’s will for us, nor is it the life in the Spirit which has its source in the heart of the risen Christ. (2) Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis
First Reading: Jeremiah 33:14-16
Psalm: 25:4-5, 8-9, 10, 14
Second Reading: 1st Thessalonians 3:12-4:2
Gospel: Luke 21:25-28, 34-36
Catechism of the Catholic Church
Interior repentance is a radical reorientation of our whole life, a return, a conversion to God with all our heart, an end of sin, a turning away from evil, with repugnance toward the evil actions we have committed. At the same time it entails the desire and resolution to change one’s life, with hope in God’s mercy and trust in the help of his grace. This conversion of heart is accompanied by a salutary pain and sadness which the Fathers called animi cruciatus (affliction of spirit) and compunctio cordis (repentance of heart). (1431)
From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the First Sunday of Advent, Cycle C
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church: no references this week
The Lord guides in truth and teaches us so our hearts shun drowsiness of faith. Anxieties of daily life do not sap our resolve to live vigilantly for Divine guidance and teaching provides strength. As the Lord guides the humble to justice and teaches the humble His way, how do we emulate this format in conveying our faith’s precepts of justice? Do we first try to teach, almost an air of indoctrination, outlining items systematically? Teaching verbiage without feeling or a humbleness of compassion, so words represent concepts without connecting to the reality of a lived existence? A guide is one who exhibits and explains points of interest. Do we exhibit a lifestyle defined by our faith’s mores and practice the breadth of Catholic Social Teaching? How can we explain the spiritual rationale of our faith instead of dogmatically uttering decrees? As we explain our faith, it offers the opportunity to accentuate its relevance to the daily-lived reality of humanity’s experiences. A teacher accustoms people to some action or attitude. Teachings with a spirit of accustom makes our faith known beyond doctrine, woven into familiarity through experience. Guiding and teaching with this focus, we share our faith not with a tone of superiority, intent on condemning others, but an abundance of love for one another and for all people. This strengthens our hearts, as we affirm the love God has shown us. We must not hang our heads and cease engagement with the world, but raise our heads vigilant to happenings, realizing God gives us the strength to radiate His care for the human family by guiding and teaching the blessings of our faith.
Individual Reflection: 1st Thessalonians 3:12-4:2
November 30th is the feast of St Andrew the apostle:
“…St Andrew was a disciple of St John the Baptist before he became a follower of Christ, to whom he also brought his brother, St Peter…” from introduction to Feast of St Andrew, Daily Roman Missal
This Lenten season, whom might you invite to a Christmas charity outreach, concert or evening of reflection, as a “guide” to exhibit and explain your faith?
Family Reflection: Psalm 25:4-5, 8-9, 10, 14
What activity might the family “accustom” themselves to this Advent season to better weave faith into the daily-lived reality?
Prepare an Advent candle in your home. Before lighting the first candle and every day until Christmas, say a prayer of blessing for the time of waiting and ask for the humbleness to be a light in the darkness of holiday busyness.
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, November 20, 2015 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.