February 26, 2017: Eighth Sunday inOrdinary Time
Catholic Social Teaching: Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
Review and share resources from Maryknoll addressing option for the poor and vulnerable. To put a face on issues impacting the human family..
First Reading: Isaiah 59:14-15
Psalm: 62:2-3, 6-7, 8-9
Second Reading: 1st Corinthians 4:1-5
Gospel: Matthew 6:24-34
Catechism of the Catholic Church
All Christ’s faithful are to “direct their affections rightly, lest they be hindered in their pursuit of perfect charity by the use of worldly things and by an adherence to riches which is contrary to the spirit of evangelical poverty.” (2545)
From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the, Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:
To the subjects, whether individuals or communities, that exercise ownership of various types of property accrue a series of objective advantages: better living conditions, security for the future, and a greater number of options from which to choose. On the other hand, property may also bring a series of deceptive promises that are a source of temptation. Those people and societies that go so far as to absolutize the role of property end up experiencing the bitterest type of slavery. In fact, there is no category of possession that can be considered indifferent with regard to the influence that it may have both on individuals and on institutions. Owners who heedlessly idolize their goods (cf. Mt 6:24, 19:21-26; Lk 16:13) become owned and enslaved by them. Only by recognizing that these goods are dependent on God the Creator and then directing their use to the common good, is it possible to give material goods their proper function as useful tools for the growth of individuals and peoples. (181)
Jesus takes up the entire Old Testament tradition even with regard to economic goods, wealth and poverty, and he gives them great clarity and fullness (cf. Mt 6:24, 13:22; Lk 6:20-24, 12:15-21; Rom 14:6-8; 1 Tim 4:4). Through the gift of his Spirit and the conversion of hearts, he comes to establish the “Kingdom of God”, so that a new manner of social life is made possible, in justice, brotherhood, solidarity and sharing. The Kingdom inaugurated by Christ perfects the original goodness of the created order and of human activity, which were compromised by sin. Freed from evil and being placed once more in communion with God, man is able to continue the work of Jesus, with the help of his Spirit. In this, man is called to render justice to the poor, releasing the oppressed, consoling the afflicted, actively seeking a new social order in which adequate solutions to material poverty are offered and in which the forces thwarting the attempts of the weakest to free themselves from conditions of misery and slavery are more effectively controlled. When this happens, the Kingdom of God is already present on this earth, although it is not of the earth. It is in this Kingdom that the promises of the Prophets find final fulfilment. (325)
Matthew 6:25, 31, 33, 34
In his preaching, Jesus teaches man not to be enslaved by work. Before all else, he must be concerned about his soul; gaining the whole world is not the purpose of his life (cf. Mk 8:36). The treasures of the earth, in fact, are consumed, while those in heaven are imperishable. It is on these latter treasures that men and women must set their hearts (cf. Mt 6:19-21). Work, then, should not be a source of anxiety (cf. Mt 6:25,31,34). When people are worried and upset about many things, they run the risk of neglecting the Kingdom of God and His righteousness (cf. Mt 6:33), which they truly need. Everything else, work included, will find its proper place, meaning and value only if it is oriented to this one thing that is necessary and that will never be taken away (cf. Lk 10:40-42). (260)
Will we pause and look at creation to see how God asks us to build His Kingdom? Birds focus on the task of being birds. Flowers bud into blossoms. Do we focus on being children of God and let everything else flow into place or do work and possessions enslave and own us? Does worry sap our energy from doing good, while contributing nothing to our well-being? In the context of Scripture, to be anxious has the connotation to be absorbed or preoccupied with. Do we let obsession with clothes, meticulously groomed to model status, with latest fashion take precedent over inner beauty when our soul rests in God alone? All people seek material needs and God knows our needs. But as people of faith, our bedrock must be staunch in first seeking God’s righteousness, as we cannot serve God and mammon. Then how we perceive food, clothing, work and possessions are not about what I have, but how I implement stewardship connecting to the breadth of God’s kingdom. Our gear for life drops an air of entitlement, self-serving enjoyment, as we realize we own nothing but treasurer the stewardship God has us given us to enhance the common good. Work then takes not on an essence of drudgery, subsistence just to exist, but in what ever we do a sense of purpose enlivens our work. How we relate to others, not in conflict, dominance dwells on collaboration. Especially when our work, paid or volunteer, addresses material poverty to lift up the oppressed, so they receive the necessities of life by their own labor. An act of justice, as God has not forgotten them either. For there exists no duplicity between seeking God’s kingdom and seeking justice.
Individual Reflection: Psalm 62:2-3, 6-7, 8-9
Spend quiet time for an hour ,so your soul rests in God
Family Reflection: Matthew 6:24-34
Discuss if your family is serving God or mammon. How can you make lifestyle changes to serve God more fully?
Prayer: From USCCB
Help Us Build Communities In God’s Vision Of Justice
We praise and thank you!
You anoint us to
bring glad tidings to the poor
proclaim liberty to captives
recover sight for the blind
free the oppressed
and build communities in keeping
with God’s vision of justice.
Show us how to be
light of the world
salt of the earth
seeds that sprout love
and leaven that infuses humanity
with the desire to promote
human dignity and solidarity.
Help us to listen so that
those in poverty can lead our efforts to
proclaim a more hopeful vision
liberate captives from injustice
heal the blindness of the powerful
free us all from self-centeredness
and build community to overcome poverty.
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.
Social Ministry Resources Engaging Parishes: Monthly and liturgical seasons resources for use with parish websites, bulletins and newsletters
List one or two upcoming events, legislative action alerts or social justice websites
By Barb Born February 17, 2017. Thank you Jesus for my baptism. The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.