February 3, 2019: Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Catholic Social Teaching: Right and Responsibilities
The demands of the common good are dependent on the social conditions of each historical period and are strictly connected to respect for and the integral promotion of the person and his fundamental rights. These demands concern above all the commitment to peace, the organization of the State’s powers, a sound juridical system, the protection of the environment, and the provision of essential services to all, some of which are at the same time human rights: food, housing, work, education and access to culture, transportation, basic health care, the freedom of communication and expression, and the protection of religious freedom. Nor must one forget the contribution that every nation is required in duty to make towards a true worldwide cooperation for the common good of the whole of humanity and for future generations also. (166) Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
First Reading: Jeremiah 1:4-5, 17-19
Psalm: 71:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 15,17
Second Reading: 1st Corinthians 12:31-13:13
Catechism of the Catholic Church
Faith makes us taste in advance the light of the beatific vision, the goal of our journey here below. Then we shall see God “face to face”, “as he is”. So faith is already the beginning of eternal life:
When we contemplate the blessings of faith even now, as if gazing at a reflection in a mirror, it is as if we already possessed the wonderful things which our faith assures us we shall one day enjoy. (163)
From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:
1st Corinthians 12:31
Among the virtues in their entirety, and in particular between virtues, social values and love, there exists a deep bond that must be ever more fully recognized. Love, often restricted to relationships of physical closeness or limited to merely subjective aspects of action on behalf of others, must be reconsidered in its authentic value as the highest and universal criterion of the whole of social ethics. Among all paths, even those sought and taken in order to respond to the ever new forms of current social questions, the “more excellent way” (cf. 1 Cor 12:31) is that marked out by love. (204)
1st Corinthians 12:31-14-1
The immediate purpose of the Church’s social doctrine is to propose the principles and values that can sustain a society worthy of the human person. Among these principles, solidarity includes all the others in a certain way. It represents “one of the fundamental principles of the Christian view of social and political organization”.
Light is shed on this principle by the primacy of love, “the distinguishing mark of Christ’s disciples (cf. Jn 13:35)”. Jesus teaches us that “the fundamental law of human perfection, and consequently of the transformation of the world, is the new commandment of love” (cf. Mt 22:40, Jn 15:12; Col 3:14; Jas 2:8). Personal behaviour is fully human when it is born of love, manifests love and is ordered to love. This truth also applies in the social sphere; Christians must be deeply convinced witnesses of this, and they are to show by their lives how love is the only force (cf. 1 Cor 12:31-14:1) that can lead to personal and social perfection, allowing society to make progress towards the good. (580)
1st Corinthians 13:12
The new reality that Jesus Christ gives us is not grafted onto human nature nor is it added from outside: it is rather that reality of communion with the Trinitarian God to which men and women have always been oriented in the depths of their being, thanks to their creaturely likeness to God. But this is also a reality that people cannot attain by their own forces alone. Through the Spirit of Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God, in whom this reality of communion has already been brought about in a singular manner, men and women are received as children of God (cf. Rom 8:14-17; Gal 4:4-7). By means of Christ, we share in the nature of God, who gives us infinitely more “than all that we ask or think” (Eph 3:20). What mankind has already received is nothing more than a token or a “guarantee” (2 Cor 1:22; Eph 1:14) of what it will receive in its fullness only in the presence of God, seen “face to face” (1 Cor 13:12), that is, a guarantee of eternal life: “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (Jn 17:3). (122)
Do we let the words of the unassuming amaze us? People not of noble lineage, a priestly class or scholastic elitism, but people that cause us to say “who”. A reminder to stop and listen to words spoken by who God puts in front of us, in person, thru written manifestos or media vibes. People proclaiming glad tidings when hostilities reign. Voices liberating people in captivity from judgment. Those not welcome in their own environs but exiled, fleeing unjust systems. Prophets that go wherever God sends them, even to places not among the rhetorically defined chosen people. For in the obscure, when famine reigns, lepers suffer is where God most profoundly manifests His presence. When the spirit of entitlement, self-preservation dominate, the voices of God’s reign get run out of town, off the airways, banished from our sight, but they can never be silenced for God’s power of love for humanity is never unquenchable. Love drowning out clashing cymbals. Love voiding superficial knowledge. For God’s voice harkened in the obscure, proclaimed in sacred spaces by prophets the greatest and the least patiently utter their message, kindly offer thoughts not seeing their own interests or waste time brooding over mistreatment, but just keep moving along propelled by faith. Prophets make us look in the mirror with deep clarity to come face to face with God’s desires to live and be His love in the world by mouths declaring His justice and salvation day by day, every day to proclaim His wondrous deeds.
Individual Reflection: Psalm 71:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 15-17
February 5th is the start of Lunar New Year celebrated in many Asian cultures. Visit a parish with Asian parishioners to share in their customs during this festive time.
Family Reflection: Luke 4:21-30
As a family, reflect on the USCCB material discussing social sin. How do you see elements of this in your community? How might you bring this discussion to your parish? What ways as a family do you address social sin? What prophetic voices proclaim the reality of social sin?
Prayer: Let these prophetic words and discussion questions harkening Laudato Si become your prayer in caring for the gift of God’s creation:
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 January 31, 2019The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.