May 7, 2017: Fourth Sunday of Easter
Catholic Social Teaching: Call to Family, Community and Participation
Faith and reason represent the two cognitive paths of the Church’s social doctrine: Revelation and human nature. The “knowing” of faith understands and directs the life of men and women according to the light of the historical-salvific mystery, God’s revelation and gift of himself to us in Christ. This understanding of faith includes reason, by means of which — insofar as possible — it unravels and comprehends revealed truth and integrates it with the truth of human nature, found in the divine plan expressed in creation. This is the integral truth of the human person as a spiritual and corporeal being, in relationship with God, with other human beings and with other creatures.
Being centred on the mystery of Christ, moreover, does not weaken or exclude the role of reason and hence does not deprive the Church’s social doctrine of rationality or, therefore, of universal applicability. Since the mystery of Christ illuminates the mystery of man, it gives fullness of meaning to human dignity and to the ethical requirements which defend it. The Church’s social doctrine is knowledge enlightened by faith, which, as such, is the expression of a greater capacity for knowledge. It explains to all people the truths that it affirms and the duties that it demands; it can be accepted and shared by all. (75). Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
First Reading: Acts 2:14a, 36-41
Psalm: 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6
Second Reading: 1st Peter 2:20b-25
Gospel: John 10:1-10
Catechism of the Catholic Church
The Church is, accordingly, a sheepfold, the sole and necessary gateway to which is Christ. It is also the flock of which God himself foretold that he would be the shepherd, and whose sheep, even though governed by human shepherds, are unfailingly nourished and led by Christ himself, the Good Shepherd and Prince of Shepherds, who gave his life for his sheep. (754) From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Fourth Sunday of Easter, Cycle A
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:
The Church moves further into the Third Millennium of the Christian era as a pilgrim people, guided by Christ, the “great Shepherd” (Heb 13:20). He is the “Holy Door” (cf. Jn 10:9) through which we passed during the Great Jubilee of the year 2000. Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life (cf. Jn 14:6): contemplating the Lord’s face, we confirm our faith and our hope in him, the one Saviour and goal of history.
The Church continues to speak to all people and all nations, for it is only in the name of Christ that salvation is given to men and women. Salvation, which the Lord Jesus obtained “at a price” (1 Cor 6:20; cf. 1 Pet 1:18-19), is achieved in the new life that awaits the righteous after death, but it also permeates this world in the realities of the economy and labour, of technology and communications, of society and politics, of the international community and the relations among cultures and peoples. “Jesus came to bring integral salvation, one which embraces the whole person and all mankind, and opens up the wondrous prospect of divine filiation”. (1)
For complete text visit: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/justpeace/documents/rc_pc_justpeace_doc_20060526_compendio-dott-soc_en.html
Short cuts, cutting corners in life and faith rob us of the fullness of life. Being slackers, not giving 100 percent, we rob God. Our unused gifts of passion, energy and enthusiasm not blossoming to fruition denies creation of potentially transforming experiences. Repenting from just getting by and living refreshed by the depth of baptism’s call, we affirm the Lord is our Shepherd who refreshes our soul. Superficial wants disappear into superfluous memories, for there is nothing one shall want. Courage supersedes evil. Focus on the Shepherd dispels a preponderance to focus on negativity in the world, so we gaze in hope and act in love. Our heads anointed with oil impart the gift of the Holy Spirit in confirmation. Fruits of the spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control come to fruition.
The Shepherd hurls no insults, only speaking truth and assurance to the sheep following Him. Hearing the Shepherd’s voice, realizing its promise, the sheep will follow no one else masquerading as a shepherd that will rob them of their dignity, hope and the truth. Life is infused abundantly, rooted in Divine parameters. Patience must craft our demeanor as we follow the Shepherd. The concept of time must not be defined by days on a calendar or the digital numbers of a watch, but the appropriate time, the right time of the Shepherd’s unfolding. The patience in journeying not as sheep in a singular nature, but sheep in a collective herd. Our nuances, varying spiritual needs, various gifts leads us to rely on patience for effective collaboration.
The Shepherd guides us on right paths, saving us from corrupt generations over millenniums. Fiscal improprieties, authoritarian dictates, hunger for power in spiritual and civic realms might appear imposing a finality. With the Shepherd’s guidance and assurance, we can see the phoniness of such ruses, how they lack truth. They only lead us to follow the Shepherd with deeper commitment, for we see the power of His truth.
Individual Reflection: Acts 2:14a, 36-41
As you prepare to buy flowers for Mother’s Day, decorate your home or use flowers at your parish, learn about the costs….Not just the money, but the social and environmental costs…
Many cut flowers come from countries like Ecuador, Viet Nam and Kenya, where workers experience harsh and unsafe working conditions. They might earn less than a dollar per day and are exposed to pesticides outlawed in the United States, without afforded the use of protective gear. The end user of the flowers can be exposed to pesticide residue. Our carbon foot print is increased from the transportation and refrigeration of flowers over such long distances. Consider more ethical flower choices:
Purchase locally grown flowers
Buy flowers at a farmers market
Look for fair trade flowers
Use flowers from your garden
Gift a plant
Make a donation to plant a tree in honor of your mother
Contribute to an organization helping reforest the Amazon or other habitat
Family Reflection: John 10:1-10
Encourage the use of ethically sourced flowers in your church to stand in solidarity with workers and creation
Prayer: Draws picture depicting the 23rd Psalm and place yourself in the picture as a follower of the Shepherd
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 April 27, 2017 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.