September 10, 2017: Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Times
Catholic Social Teaching: Solidarity
“If we claim to be followers of Jesus, we cannot be mere fans or admirers. Rather, we have to take him at his word and do what he says…outlandish love is the hallmark of Christianity. Jesus challenges us to practice God’s own all-inclusive, all-embracing, unconditional love for the whole human race, not just because it is the only practical option, but because it is the way God relates to humanity. According to Jesus, God loves God’s enemies, and we should try to be like God.” The Questions of Jesus: Challenging Ourselves to Discover Life’s Great Answers, pp.56-7, Fr John Dear
First Reading: Ezekiel 33:7-9
Psalm: 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9
Second Reading: Romans 13:8-10
Gospel: Matthew 18:15-20
Catechism of the Catholic Church
The fruits of charity are joy, peace, and mercy; charity demands beneficence and fraternal correction; it is benevolence; it fosters reciprocity and remains disinterested and generous; it is friendship and communion: Love is itself the fulfillment of all our works. There is the goal; that is why we run: we run toward it, and once we reach it, in it we shall find rest. (1829)
From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Twenty-third Sunday of Ordinary Time, Cycle A
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:
God, in Christ, redeems not only the individual person but also the social relations existing between men. As the Apostle Paul teaches, life in Christ makes the human person’s identity and social sense — with their concrete consequences on the historical and social planes — emerge fully and in a new manner: “For in Christ Jesus you are all children of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ” (Gal 3:26-28). In this perspective, Church communities, brought together by the message of Jesus Christ and gathered in the Holy Spirit round the Risen Lord (cf. Mt 18:20, 28:19-20; Lk 24:46-49), offer themselves as places of communion, witness and mission, and as catalysts for the redemption and transformation of social relationships. (52)
The mercy and justice of God’s words should never harden our hearts, but only desire to expose them to more of His providential character. Faith, infused with grace, prevents us from giving credence to “wicked ways”of today by remaining silent in our words and actions. We don’t need to act as theology police writing tickets of dismissal to those jawing contrary to God’s ways. But out of compassion establish dialogue to inquire why, how come, what leads you to act with that demeanor, talk with such jargon. For listening gives us insights as to why people think, act and speak like they do. A platform for you to acknowledge where they are and share in a positive way how your perspective might differ. Building a bridge of common ground, shared experiences but also expressing why you feel and believe as you do. This approach grounds itself in love. Love of God and His ways and love for another person to take the time and interest to listen. Love that will inflict no vengeance and only desire goodness to prevail. At times dialogue requires moving beyond one on one to collectively exchange thoughts two or three exponentially. Not to gang up on another viewpoint, but again grounded in love ask questions and listen. By allowing another to express their opinions, verbalize the thought process how often they come to realize a glitch in their logic, missing a piece to the puzzle of life and so often that is God. Forceful rhetoric never allows dialogue to happen, as the response resorts to hunker down and defend one’s position. Joy of faith and life vanishes. To dialogue expresses our humbleness before God and others, to kneel out of reverence to the Divine and respect all members of His creation. We are part of the flock He guides, moving, flowing, not a pillar embedded deep into the earth, unmovable lacking the potential to reach out and touch another, to turn and keenly gaze in another direction to understand the path another has journeyed. As we see God’s works and wonder, why would we rebel and harden our hearts as to wander selfishly, placing ourselves in a parched desert and cease the immense responsibility and reward of loving God, neighbor and ultimately ourselves.
September 15th is Our Lady of Sorrows. How do the seven sorrows Mary endured reflect challenges we face in society today.
September 12th is the Most Holy Name of Mary. Discuss the sacredness of her name. Also talk about the names of each family member; meaning, significance, why the name was chosen
Prayer: St Bonaventure to Our Lady of Sorrows
O most holy Virgin, Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, by the overwhelming grief you experienced when you witnessed the martyrdom, the crucifixion, and the death of your divine Son, look upon me with eyes of compassion, and awaken in my heart a tender commiseration for those sufferings, as well as a sincere detestation of my sins, in order that, being disengaged from all undue affection for the passing joys of this earth, I may sigh after the eternal Jerusalem, and that henceforward all my thoughts and all my actions may be directed towards this one most desirable object: Honor, glory, and love to our divine Lord Jesus, and to the holy and immaculate Mother of God. 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.
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 August 30, 2017 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.