October 30, 2016: Thirty-first Sunday of Ordinary Time
Catholic Social Teaching: Solidarity
The love that inspires Jesus’ ministry among men is the love that he has experienced in his intimate union with the Father. The New Testament allows us to enter deeply into the experience, that Jesus himself lives and communicates, the love of God his Father — “Abba” — and, therefore, it permits us to enter into the very heart of divine life. Jesus announces the liberating mercy of God to those whom he meets on his way, beginning with the poor, the marginalized, the sinners. He invites all to follow him because he is the first to obey God’s plan of love, and he does so in a most singular way, as God’s envoy in the world.
Jesus’ self-awareness of being the Son is an expression of this primordial experience. The Son has been given everything, and freely so, by the Father: “All that the Father has is mine” (Jn 16:15). His in turn is the mission of making all men sharers in this gift and in this filial relationship: “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you” (Jn 15:15).
For Jesus, recognizing the Father’s love means modelling his actions on God’s gratuitousness and mercy; it is these that generate new life. It means becoming — by his very existence — the example and pattern of this for his disciples. Jesus’ followers are called to live like him and, after his Passover of death and resurrection, to live also in him and by him, thanks to the superabundant gift of the Holy Spirit, the Consoler, who internalizes Christ’s own style of life in human hearts. (29) Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
First Reading: Wisdom 11:22-12:2
Psalm: 145:1-2, 8-9, 10-11, 13, 14
Second Reading: 2nd Thessalonians 1:11-2:2
Gospel: Luke 19:1-10
Catechism of the Catholic Church
Jesus calls to conversion. This call is an essential part of the proclamation of the kingdom: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel.” In the Church’s preaching this call is addressed first to those who do not yet know Christ and his Gospel. Also, Baptism is the principal place for the first and fundamental conversion. It is by faith in the Gospel and by Baptism that one renounces evil and gains salvation, that is, the forgiveness of all sins and the gift of new life. (1427)
From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Thirty-first Sunday of Ordinary Time, Cycle C
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church: No references this week
God shows us love excels over power, the triumph of concern over dictating manipulation. As a drop of morning dew softly caresses the earth, so God’s mercy seeks to refresh our soul. An awakening to our omnipotent God, creator of the entire universe, who loves all His creation. He created nothing out of hate or malice, so He desires our repentance to overlook our sins. Therefore, we have no excuse to wallow in our sins, to craft our own roadblocks that disenfranchise us from God’s mercy. As sharers in God’s mercy, we should free ourselves from the bondage of hate, unrepentance of others’ failings, otherwise we deny the essence of salvation and that God’s imperishable spirit is in all creation. An essence of holiness God instills by supporting those who fall. If we ignore, abandon or chastise those troubled, unrepentant or searching, we relish in our own piety to slam God’s mercy into obscurity from our world. Only God makes us worthy of our calling to bring forth every effort illuminating faith, so the name of our Savior maybe glorified by the way we live our lives, as He lives in us.
Zacchaeus provides us a role model of a person experiencing God’s mercy in a world lacking perception of God’s love and living the false paradigm of God’s obsession to condemn. He was viewed as “unclean” by society, a tax collector, but his name means “clean”. Short in stature, he was also viewed as short in credibility from portrayals of tax collectors enriching their own financial stature. Exemplifying our merciful God, Jesus did not let him languish, but sought out the searching Zacchaeus. Jesus invited himself into Zacchaeus’ world, his home, the time and place he was at, to fill Zacchaeus with joy. A liberation from unfulfilled ways, a surrender of material wealth, for he found true wealth in God’s mercy. Unlike the Lucan parable of the rich, young man, who observed all the commandments to the letter of the law, but had no peace because he could not let God’s love permeate his hardened heart, Zacchaeus, a descent of Abraham, our father in faith, represents God’s passion for mercy to all people.
Rooted in the lineage of scripture, summarized in John 3:16, this Sunday’s communion antiphon, our salvation reflects God’s love for us. We are not lost by God’s judgment scoured upon us, but because we let mores of mistrust, perfection and unworthiness sap our receptivity to God’s love for us. We wound ourselves, but the Lord is good to all and compassionate toward all His works.
Individual Reflection: 2nd Thessalonians 1:11-2:2
On November 1st, All Saints Day, for named and unnamed saints, the Gospel reading is the Beatitudes, Matthew 5:1-12a. Reflect on that passage in the context of how your parish lives or fails to live out those words? How might your parish better exemplify the challenge Jesus offered and continues to offer our Church today?
Family Reflection: Psalm 145:1-2, 8-9, 10-11, 13-14
On November 2nd, All Souls’ Day, pray for deceased family and friends. Remember the blessings they brought to your life and how they were role models for you to be blessings to others.
Prayer: Collect from Solemnity of All Saints, November 1st
Almighty ever living God, by whose gift we venerate in one celebration the merits of all the Saints, bestow on us we pray, through the prayers of so many intercessors, an abundance of the reconciliation with you for which we earnestly long. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. 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 October 26, 2016 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.