September 17, 2017: Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Catholic Social Teaching: Solidarity
“…Jesus of Nazareth makes the connection between solidarity and charity shine brightly before all, illuminating the entire meaning of this connection: “In the light of faith, solidarity seeks to go beyond itself, to take on the specifically Christian dimensions of total gratuity, forgiveness and reconciliation. One’s neighbour is then not only a human being with his or her own rights and a fundamental equality with everyone else, but becomes the living image of God the Father, redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ and placed under the permanent action of the Holy Spirit. One’s neighbour must therefore be loved, even if an enemy, with the same love with which the Lord loves him or her;…” (196) Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
First Reading: Sirach 27: 30-28:7
Psalm: Psalm 103:1-2, 3-4, 9-10, 11-12
Second Reading: Romans 14:7-9
Gospel: Matthew 18:21-35
Catechism of the Catholic Church
The practice of all the virtues is animated and inspired by charity, which “binds everything together in perfect harmony”; it is the form of the virtues; it articulates and orders them among themselves; it is the source and the goal of their Christian practice. Charity upholds and purifies our human ability to love, and raises it to the supernatural perfection of divine love. (1827)
From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the, Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle A
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:
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)
What gives us the prerogative to demand more of others than God does? Why do we desire to yield such power and control? How can we believe we can handle hate? Reality fails to consume us…God is mercy.
We list to and fro, tacking port and starboard, not plowing forward through the rough seas of forgiveness. Instead we tend to focus on the outcome of a challenging situation perceivably solved by vengeance. To think we win all the while skidding around smearing hate. But in reality we only construct more impenetrable barriers , to take us further from God’s mercy, making it less conceivable for us to forgive as God forgives.
Forgiveness must not reign as platitudes, but bask in action. A process of engagement, not envisioned at distances beyond the range of sight. Literal steps dealing with concrete reality. Forgiveness requires a pliable heart lived in the world. A resolve to love as God loves to know resurrection continually unfolds across creation if we don’t act as mercy police.
Let us FORGIVE !
F= Frequently Seek ways to forgive more often than not
O=Offer Be an initiator of forgiveness
R= Resolve Seek resolution and dispel darkness to replace dissonance with consonance
G=Given Forgiveness is a gift to others and ourselves, so don’t practice forgiveness begrudgingly
I= In Define the attributes you associate with forgiveness
V=Virtuous Practice forgiveness with courage and trust in your moral precepts to respect the dignity of all people with love and mercy
E= Empathy Promote understanding by entering into the culture and feelings embedded in the forgiveness paradigm
Individual Reflection:Romans 14:7-9
September 20th is the Memorial of St Andrew Kim and Companions. He was the first native Korean priest in the 1800’s. Pray for peace on the Korean Peninsula this week and ask for St Andrew Kim’s intercession.
Family Reflection: Matthew 18:21-35
September 21st is the Feast of St Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist. He was a despised person in his community until Jesus called him to be an Apostle. Talk about people you know in your life that have experienced a transformation through faith.
Prayer: Let us pray this day for people fleeing and experiencing natural disasters.
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 September 7, 2017 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.