June 19, 2016: Twelfth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Catholic Social Teaching: Solidarity
Saint John, the disciple who stood with Mary beneath the cross, brings us to the sources of faith and charity, to the heart of the God who “is love” (1 Jn 4:8,16). He reminds us that we cannot love God if we do not love our brothers and sisters. … the cross of Christ invites us also to allow ourselves to be smitten by his love, teaching us always to look upon others with mercy and tenderness, especially those who suffer, who are in need of help” (Pope Francis, Way of the Cross with Young People, Rio de Janeiro, 26 July 2013).
First Reading: Zechariah 12:10-11; 13:1
Psalm: 63:2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9
Second Reading: Galatians 3:26-29
Gospel: Luke 9:18-24
Catechism of the Catholic Church
The cross is the unique sacrifice of Christ, the “one mediator between God and men”. But because in his incarnate divine person he has in some way united himself to every man, “the possibility of being made partners, in a way known to God, in the paschal mystery” is offered to all men. He calls his disciples to “take up [their] cross and follow (him)”, for “Christ also suffered for (us), leaving (us) an example so that (we) should follow in his steps.” In fact Jesus desires to associate with his redeeming sacrifice those who were to be its first beneficiaries. This is achieved supremely in the case of his mother, who was associated more intimately than any other person in the mystery of his redemptive suffering. Apart from the cross there is no other ladder by which we may get to heaven. (618)
From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Twelfth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Cycle C
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:
The principle of the universal destination of goods also applies naturally to water, considered in the Sacred Scriptures as a symbol of purification (cf. Ps 51:4; Jn 13:8) and of life (cf. Jn 3:5; Gal 3:27). “As a gift from God, water is a vital element essential to survival; thus, everyone has a right to it”. Satisfying the needs of all, especially of those who live in poverty, must guide the use of water and the services connected with it. Inadequate access to safe drinking water affects the well-being of a huge number of people and is often the cause of disease, suffering, conflicts, poverty and even death. For a suitable solution to this problem, it “must be set in context in order to establish moral criteria based precisely on the value of life and the respect for the rights and dignity of all human beings”. (484)
“God shows no partiality” (Acts 10:34; cf. Rom 2:11; Gal 2:6; Eph 6:9), since all people have the same dignity as creatures made in his image and likeness. The Incarnation of the Son of God shows the equality of all people with regard to dignity: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:28; cf. Rom 10:12; 1 Cor 12:13, Col 3:11).
Since something of the glory of God shines on the face of every person, the dignity of every person before God is the basis of the dignity of man before other men. Moreover, this is the ultimate foundation of the radical equality and brotherhood among all people, regardless of their race, nation, sex, origin, culture, or class. (144)
How far back do you trace your lineage? A few preceding generations and we lose the connectedness to our descendants. What if we think of our ancestry back through the millenniums? We move beyond intimacy of our immediate family, to quest for our physical antiquity. Can we envision ourselves, like Christ, descendants of Abraham, our father in faith? With that perspective, we abandon our tribal, nationalistic mentality to see the interconnectedness of humanity’s roots to become heirs of the spiritual promise. A call beckoning our conscience to stop delineations between the chosen people and Gentiles, slaves and free people, even male and female. Will we let go of our grasping to stereotypes of who is our ancestor to welcome with open arms a diversity of people in the human family and our Church? This purposes welcoming the diversity of God’s children, but not denying our cultural identity. For the fabric of society strengthens when layered with collective experiences and practices inherent in diversity.
To live with that freedom means living as sheep hearing and following the voice of the Lord. It takes a kindness that is a greater good than living a life self-absorbed with the immediacy of self to let our soul cling to our spiritual lineage, all starting with the meaning of the cross. A willingness to deny one’s self, daily holding the hewn wood with splinters, cracks and knots. The imperfection of process we hold in our hands, to lose our lives in participating in the process of life for the sake of the Lord and gain all life can become.
Individual Reflection: Luke 9:18-24
Make a cross with items representing the fabric of your life. Frame or mount it to hang in a visible place in your home or office as a reminder of Jesus’ words, “ Take up your cross daily and follow me.”
Family Reflection: Galatians 3:26-29
Discuss the family lineage, how many generations do you know about your ancestors? How can you look at your genealogy in the context of the millenniums of the human family?
Prayer: Share this prayer of peace and solidarity from CRS with your faith community
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 June 6, 2016 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.