May 1, 2016: Sixth Sunday of Easter
Catholic Social Teaching: Dignity of Work and Rights of Workers
“Economic decisions and institutions should be assessed according to whether they protect or undermine the dignity of the human person. Social and economic policies should foster the creation of jobs for all who can work with decent working conditions and just wages. Barriers to equal pay and employment for women and those facing unjust discrimination must be overcome…” (73) Forming Conscience for Faithful Citizenship, USCCB, 2015
First Reading: Acts 15:1-2, 22-29
Psalm: 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8
Second Reading: Revelation 21:10-14, 22-23
Gospel: John 14:23-29
Catechism of the Catholic Church
The Holy Spirit, whom Christ the head pours out on his members, builds, animates, and sanctifies the Church. She is the sacrament of the Holy Trinity’s communion with men. (747)
From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Sixth Sunday of Easter, Cycle C
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:
John 14:21, 23-24
The Church has the right to be a teacher for mankind, a teacher of the truth of faith: the truth not only of dogmas but also of the morals whose source lies in human nature itself and in the Gospel. The word of the Gospel, in fact, is not only to be heard but is also to be observed and put into practice (cf. Mt 7:24; Lk 6:46-47; Jn 14:21,23-24; Jas 1:22). Consistency in behaviour shows what one truly believes and is not limited only to things strictly church-related or spiritual but involves men and women in the entirety of their life experience and in the context of all their responsibilities. However worldly these responsibilities may be, their subject remains man, that is, the human being whom God calls, by means of the Church, to participate in his gift of salvation.
Men and women must respond to the gift of salvation not with a partial, abstract or merely verbal acceptance, but with the whole of their lives — in every relationship that defines life — so as not to neglect anything, leaving it in a profane and worldly realm where it is irrelevant or foreign to salvation. For this reason the Church’s social doctrine is not a privilege for her, nor a digression, a convenience or interference: it is her right to proclaim the Gospel in the context of society, to make the liberating word of the Gospel resound in the complex worlds of production, labour, business, finance, trade, politics, law, culture, social communications, where men and women live. (70)
The promise of peace that runs through the entire Old Testament finds its fulfilment in the very person of Jesus. Peace, in fact, is the messianic attribute par excellence, in which all other beneficial effects of salvation are included. The Hebrew word “shalom” expresses this fullness of meaning in its etymological sense of “completeness” (cf. Is 9:5ff; Mic 5:1-4). The kingdom of the Messiah is precisely the kingdom of peace (cf. Job 25:2; Ps 29:11; 37:11; 72:3,7; 85:9,11; 119:165; 125:5, 128:6; 147:14; Song 8:10; Is 26:3,12; 32:17f.; 52:7; 54:10; 57:19; 60:17; 66:12; Hag 2:9; Zech 9:10; et al.). Jesus “is our peace” (Eph 2:14). He has broken down the dividing wall of hostility among people, reconciling them with God (cf.Eph 2:14-16). This is the very effective simplicity with which Saint Paul indicates the radical motivation spurring Christians to undertake a life and a mission of peace.
On the eve of his death, Jesus speaks of his loving relation with the Father and the unifying power that this love bestows upon his disciples. It is a farewell discourse which reveals the profound meaning of his life and can be considered a summary of all his teaching. The gift of peace is the seal on his spiritual testament: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you” (Jn 14:27). The words of the Risen Lord will not be any different; every time that he meets his disciples they receive from him the greeting and gift of peace: “Peace be with you” (Lk 24:36; Jn 20:19,21,26). (491)
The promotion of peace in the world is an integral part of the Church’s mission of continuing Christ’s work of redemption on earth. In fact, the Church is, in Christ, a “ ‘sacrament‘ or sign and instrument of peace in the world and for the world”. The promotion of true peace is an expression of Christian faith in the love that God has for every human being. From a liberating faith in God’s love there arises a new vision of the world and a new way of approaching others, whether the other is an individual or an entire people. It is a faith that transforms and renews life, inspired by the peace that Christ left to his disciples (cf. Jn 14:27). Moved solely by this faith, the Church intends to promote the unity of Christians and a fruitful cooperation with believers of other religions. Differences of religion must not be a cause of conflict; the shared quest for peace on the part of all believers is a vital source of unity among peoples. The Church calls on individuals, peoples, States and nations to share her concern for re-establishing and consolidating peace, placing particular emphasis on the important role of international law (516)
Jesus asks us to keep His word, not out of obligation, a sense of duty or imposition, but love. In return, we receive the love of the Father producing a constant reciprocity of giving and receiving love. To keep Jesus’ word, articulated in the Gospel, means we don’t analyze, dissect and keep only the portions of the word we feel enamored with. For the word challenges us to service when we might like to chill, to peace when we rather not forgive, to be the light of hope in the world when it would be easier to criticize. When the word upsets us and we question why Jesus would ever grasp our conscience with precepts we define as nonsense, we choose to define love as lost our vision of eternity. We slam the door shut from allowing Jesus and the Father to make their dwelling with us. The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, we have dismissed for we feel we can decipher and extrapolate all we need to know from our theoretical plundering of technological databases and the figments of our imagination to craft a worldview we define and highlight with our own counsel and advocacy. But with that relationship to the Trinity, we will never know peace. Only keeping Jesus’ word, not to the letter of the law, but in love, in all the actions and relationships of our lives, will peace prevail in our hearts and help transform the world. If we love Jesus, we rejoice in the eternal mystery. We believe, for we have peace not as the world gives and our hearts are not troubled or afraid. All emulating from the synergy of Divine love for us and our love for the Divine when we realize Jesus’ intends for us to keep His word. Keep implies a concentrated effort, beyond hearing, listening, so the Gospel is infused into each movement of our lives
Individual Reflection: John 14:23-29
Read about the May 1st memorial of St Joseph the Worker. Reflect on the dignity of work. How do you need to be more respectful and appreciate of people you work with and people working in your neighborhood, state and the global marketplace?
Family Reflection: Psalm 67:2-3, 5, 6,8
May 1st, our Orthodox brothers and sisters will celebrate Easter. Learn about their culinary tradition of Easter bread with red dyed eggs by researching it on the internet or if you have a Mediterranean deli or bakery in your neighborhood, buy some to sample.
Jesus, thank you for giving us your word. May it always inspire us, infuse us with hope and absorb our lives in peace, so we live our lives in love. Love for you and love for the Father, may it freely mold our lives with service, humility, patience and compassion for the human family. Help us to infinitely realize love is a word not absorbed with passive reflection, but action to transform hate, hurt and hardships into hope. We thank you for the Advocate. May the Holy Spirit guide us on the journey of love. In your 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 April 29, 2016 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.