July 5, 2020: Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Catholic Social Teaching: Solidarity
Resources for a path of peace and non-violence
First Reading: Zechariah 9:9-10
Psalm: 145: 1-2, 8-9, 10-11, 13-14
Second Reading: Romans 8:9, 11-13
Gospel: Matthew 11:25-30
Catechism of the Catholic Church
“Nothing is more apt to confirm our faith and hope than holding it fixed in our minds that nothing is impossible with God. Once our reason has grasped the idea of God’s almighty power, it will easily and without any hesitation admit everything that [the Creed] will afterwards propose for us to believe – even if they be great and marvelous things, far above the ordinary laws of nature.” (274) From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Cycle A
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:
The prototype of the king chosen by Yahweh is David, whose humble origins are a favourite topic of the biblical account (cf. 1 Sam 16:1-13). David is the recipient of the promise (cf. 2 Sam 7:13-16; Ps 89:2-38, 132:11-18), which places him at the beginning of a special kingly tradition, the “messianic” tradition. Notwithstanding all the sins and infidelities of David and his successors, this tradition culminates in Jesus Christ, who is par excellence “Yahweh’s anointed” (that is, “the Lord’s consecrated one”, cf. 1 Sam 2:35, 24:7,11, 26:9,16; Ex 30:22-32), the son of David (cf. Mt 1:1-17; Lk 3:23-38; Rom 1:3).
The failure of kingship on the historical level does not lead to the disappearance of the ideal of a king who, in fidelity to Yahweh, will govern with wisdom and act in justice. This hope reappears time and again in the Psalms (cf. Ps 2, 18, 20, 21, 72). In the messianic oracles, the figure of a king endowed with the Lord’s Spirit, full of wisdom and capable of rendering justice to the poor, is awaited in eschatological times (cf. Is 11:2-5; Jer 23:5-6). As true shepherd of the people of Israel (cf. Ezek 34:23-24, 37:24), he will bring peace to the nations (cf. Zech 9:9-10). In Wisdom Literature, the king is presented as the one who renders just judgments and abhors iniquity (cf. Prov 16:12), who judges the poor with equity (cf. Prov 29:14) and is a friend to those with a pure heart (cf. Prov 22:11). There is a gradual unfolding of the proclamation of what the Gospels and other New Testament writings see fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth, the definitive incarnation of what the Old Testament foretold about the figure of the king. (378)
The promise of peace that runs through the entire Old Testament finds its fulfillment in the very person of Jesus. Peace, in fact, is the messianic attribute par excellence, in which all other beneficial effects of salvation are included. The Hebrew word “shalom” expresses this fullness of meaning in its etymological sense of “completeness” (cf. Is 9:5ff; Mic 5:1-4). The kingdom of the Messiah is precisely the kingdom of peace (cf. Job 25:2; Ps 29:11; 37:11; 72:3,7; 85:9,11; 119:165; 125:5, 128:6; 147:14; Song 8:10; Is 26:3,12; 32:17f.; 52:7; 54:10; 57:19; 60:17; 66:12; Hag 2:9; Zech 9:10; et al.). Jesus “is our peace” (Eph 2:14). He has broken down the dividing wall of hostility among people, reconciling them with God (cf. Eph 2:14-16). This is the very effective simplicity with which Saint Paul indicates the radical motivation spurring Christians to undertake a life and a mission of peace.
On the eve of his death, Jesus speaks of his loving relation with the Father and the unifying power that this love bestows upon his disciples. It is a farewell discourse which reveals the profound meaning of his life and can be considered a summary of all his teaching. The gift of peace is the seal on his spiritual testament: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you” (Jn 14:27). The words of the Risen Lord will not be any different; every time that he meets his disciples they receive from him the greeting and gift of peace: “Peace be with you” (Lk 24:36; Jn 20:19,21,26). (491)
Romans Chapter 8
The salvation offered in its fullness to men in Jesus Christ by God the Father’s initiative, and brought about and transmitted by the work of the Holy Spirit, is salvation for all people and of the whole person: it is universal and integral salvation. It concerns the human person in all his dimensions: personal and social, spiritual and corporeal, historical and transcendent. It begins to be made a reality already in history, because what is created is good and willed by God, and because the Son of God became one of us. Its completion, however, is in the future, when we shall be called, together with all creation (cf. Rom 8), to share in Christ’s resurrection and in the eternal communion of life with the Father in the joy of the Holy Spirit. This outlook shows quite clearly the error and deception of purely immanentistic visions of the meaning of history and in humanity’s claims to self-salvation. (38)
In her social doctrine the Church offers above all an integral vision of man and a complete understanding of his personal and social dimensions. Christian anthropology reveals the inviolable dignity of every person and places the realities of work, economics and politics into an original perspective that sheds light on authentic human values while at the same time inspiring and sustaining the task of Christian witness in the varied areas of personal, cultural and social life. Thanks to the “first fruits of the Spirit” (Rom 8:23), Christians become “capable of discharging the new law of love (cf. Rom 8:1-11). Through this Spirit, who is ‘the pledge of our inheritance’ (Eph 1:14), the whole man is renewed from within, even to the achievement of ‘the redemption of the body’ (Rom 8:23)”.In this sense the Church’s social doctrine shows how the moral basis of all social action consists in the human development of the person and identifies the norm for social action corresponding to humanity’s true good and as efforts aimed at creating the conditions that will allow every person to satisfy his integral vocation. (522)
When will we see the coming of Jesus embodied peace, His message is peace and His disciples should proclaim peace? Not just a sliver of peace, while reveling in judgement, instilling a basking monarchial reign of triumphalism. Coming on a donkey, not the horses and chariots of monarchs dominating by the warriors’ bows, He exhibited meekness. Not a pushover, but strength in resoluteness to present a model without forbearing pressure, but amicable to focus on a presence to make people pause, ponder and pursue His vision. A dominion from the ancient River of human antiquity to the shores of every sea and all lands between each polar expanse woven in graciousness not dominance, mercifulness not mightiness, kindness not hostility. A message proclaiming peace to all, not robbing peace by robbing plates of food from the destitute to purchase weapons. The call for compassion in all works we do in continuing His reign of peace and in turn thanking the Lord for the peace He gives us within. Peace is mighty, not to trample, but empower, to offer a discourse for the good and respect of all. A holy call beyond self interest, nationalistic creeds and overt pride. The framework to lift up the falling staggered by oppression and raise them up in equality. This goes beyond the flesh of daily existence to emulate from the Spirit to transform the human spirit. For the Holy Spirit dwelling within that attaches us to Christ and His mission of peace. The same Spirit present thru salvation history. To detach ourselves from that Spirit only lends one life into a spiral of spiritual death, burdened by an oppressive yoke of slavery to goals counterintuitive to humanity’s peace. A place we only understand in the littleness of our lives and not basing our faith and lives in trying to win an apologetic debate to prove Jesus in a systematic checklist of theological points. Obsession with rubrics by clerical voices attempting to find peace in certainty of liturgical and theological structure, today leaves a detachment between faith and the reality of people’s lives, the essence of what they see, who they are and asking questions to the “why” of injustice. Only by accepting the yoke Jesus crafts for each of our uniqueness, to see the law fulfilled in the Lord’s gift of peace, do we continually learn to form ourselves in meekness with humble hearts. For in fulfilling the law, Jesus lifted burdens of religiosity, so we see faith’s relevance in multidimensional facets of our lives. A peace that is 3D to touch, heal and mold the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of our humanity. For without peace the yoke’s burden scrapes our soul, bruises our emotions, leaves us adrift from life, a real burden void of Divine peace.
Individual Reflection: Romans 8:9, 11-13
July 11th is the feast of St Benedict. Read the Rule of St Benedict.
Family Reflection: Zechariah 9:9-10
Learn about the work of Pax Christ in the US and internationally. What action can your family do to support the peace Jesus modeled?
Prayerfully take the Campaign Non-Violence pledge
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 June 29, St Peter and Paul Pray for us The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.