March 31, 2019: Fourth Sunday of Lent
Catholic Social Teaching: Call to Family Community and Participation
Learn about Peace Builders to foster safe, positive learning environments in your community
First Reading: Joshua 5:9a, 10-12
Psalm: Psalm 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7
Second Reading: 2nd Corinthians 5:17-21
Gospel: Luke 15:1-3, 11-32
Catechism of the Catholic Church
The process of conversion and repentance was described by Jesus in the parable of the prodigal son, the center of which is the merciful father: the fascination of illusory freedom, the abandonment of the father’s house; the extreme misery in which the son finds himself after squandering his fortune; his deep humiliation at finding himself obliged to feed swine, and still worse, at wanting to feed on the husks the pigs ate; his reflection on all he has lost; his repentance and decision to declare himself guilty before his father; the journey back; the father’s generous welcome; the father’s joy – all these are characteristic of the process of conversion. The beautiful robe, the ring, and the festive banquet are symbols of that new life – pure worthy, and joyful – of anyone who returns to God and to the bosom of his family, which is the Church. Only the heart Of Christ Who knows the depths of his Father’s love could reveal to us the abyss of his mercy in so simple and beautiful a way. (1439)
From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the, Fourth Sunday of Lent, Cycle C
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:
2nd Corinthians 5:17
The entrance of Jesus Christ into the history of the world reaches its culmination in the Paschal Mystery, where nature itself takes part in the drama of the rejection of the Son of God and in the victory of his Resurrection (cf. Mt 27:45,51, 28:2). Crossing through death and grafting onto it the new splendour of the Resurrection, Jesus inaugurates a new world in which everything is subjected to him (cf. 1 Cor 15:20-28) and he creates anew those relationships of order and harmony that sin had destroyed. Knowledge of the imbalances existing between man and nature should be accompanied by an awareness that in Jesus the reconciliation of man and the world with God — such that every human being, aware of divine love, can find anew the peace that was lost — has been brought about. “Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come” (2 Cor 5:17). Nature, which was created in the Word is, by the same Word made flesh, reconciled to God and given new peace (cf. Col 1:15-20). (454)
We cannot be ambassadors for Christ unless we know Christ. For to know about Christ is not to experience Christ. To know Christ, one knows His mercy, humility and generosity where we become a new creation fashioned in His love, formed at His table. A place where transgressions cease tallied computation. The focus of every time and place entrusted us with the message of reconciliation to the Divine and each other. We become the vessels where God appeals through us to recreate and heal the world. But first we must experience Christ, to taste and see His goodness. A place beyond existence, subsistence to living with the full yield of Divine grace. To cease bargaining with, even demanding of God for what we think we ought to have, to stop and absorb the abundance of God. Instead we might tread in unspeakable escapades to metaphorically tend the swine while they dine on portions appealing to one’s palate, but outside the reach of one’s grasp to leave one emaciated spiritually. Whether one makes a U-turn, 90 degree turns or follows a winding path, the journey away from despair to God only bring rejoicing. From the quiet place of one’s heart to the exuberance of God’s embrace, our plea for reconciliation expresses words defining our frailties, but God will not listen to our litany of remorse. For He looks far beyond inequities seeking to reveal our desire for Him, as He desires we have the best possible relationship with Him. If we think we are too good for God’s mercy and live with an elevated pious demeanor, we only miss out on God’s celebration, deny reconciliation is for all people and cease to be benefactors of reconciliation in the world as ambassadors for Christ. We must make the decision if we want to love or judge. Love without asterisks, exceptions or exclusions as God loves to be radiant with joy, or remain outside God’s house judging every nuance in the context of scrupulous principles detached from the reality of the world, ready to pounce on infractions to define Church as a pedigree of ideals instead of reconciling with God and one another where we are at to build a foundation instead of divides.
Individual Reflection:Luke 15:1-3, 11-32
This Laetare Sunday what will you do that is joyful in the hope of Easter?
Family Reflection: 2nd Corinthians 5:17-21
Participate in Catholic Charities’ Be a Good Samaritan project this Lent to provide charity and advocacy to those facing challenges:
Prayer: Reflect on this portion of the Collect for Fourth Sunday of Lent
O God, who through your Word reconcile the human race to yourself in a wonderful way
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 March 28, 2019 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.