May 13, 2018: Ascension of the Lord
Catholic Social Teaching: Solidarity
Like receiving the baton in a relay race, the unbroken exchange of faith has endured the centuries, from the day the disciple were commissioned by Jesus at His Ascension. Reflect on the prophetic words of Micah 6:8, as how you will faithfully carry the baton of faith.
First Reading: Acts 1:1-11
Psalm: 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9
Second Reading: Ephesians 1:17-23 or Ephesians 4:1-13
Gospel: Mark 16:15-20
Catechism of the Catholic Church
So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.” Christ’s body was glorified at the moment of his Resurrection, as proved by the new and supernatural properties it subsequently and permanently enjoys. But during the forty days when he eats and drinks familiarly with his disciples and teaches them about the kingdom, his glory remains veiled under the appearance of ordinary humanity. Jesus’ final apparition ends with the irreversible entry of his humanity into divine glory, symbolized by the cloud and by heaven, where he is seated from that time forward at God’s right hand. Only in a wholly exceptional and unique way would Jesus show himself to Paul “as to one untimely born”, in a last apparition that established him as an apostle. (659) From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Ascension of the Lord, Cycle B
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:
Faith in Jesus Christ makes it possible to have a correct understanding of social development, in the context of an integral and solidary humanism. In this regard, the contribution of theological reflection offered by the Church’s social Magisterium is very useful: “Faith in Christ the Redeemer, while it illuminates from within the nature of development, also guides us in the task of collaboration. In the Letter of St. Paul to the Colossians, we read that Christ is ‘the firstborn of all creation,’ and that ‘all things were created through him’ and for him (Col 1:15-16). In fact, ‘all things hold together in him’, since ‘in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things’ (v. 20). A part of this divine plan, which begins from eternity in Christ, the perfect ‘image’ of the Father, and which culminates in him, ‘the firstborn from the dead’ (v. 15-18), in our own history, marked by our personal and collective effort to raise up the human condition and to overcome the obstacles which are continually arising along our way. It thus prepares us to share in the fullness which ‘dwells in the Lord’ and which he communicates ‘to his body, which is the Church’ (v. 18; cf. Eph 1:22-23). At the same time sin, which is always attempting to trap us and which jeopardizes our human achievements, is conquered and redeemed by the ‘reconciliation’ accomplished by Christ (cf. Col 1:20)”. (327)
How often do you express your enthusiasm for the Lord? Do we hang out in church like deflated balloons, mumble a few amens and escape as fast as possible after communion? If the eyes of our hearts are enlightened to know the hope that belongs to His call and the riches of His glory, that will not do. We must sing with praise, clap our hands with shouts of joy for the Lord, the Most High is AWESOME. No holy reverence can blot that out, extinguish the fire of faith. If we accept the blessing of Jesus, joy reigns in our heart, for only unbelief condemns. A conscience etched with condemnation, obsessed with life latched on to human nature’s sinfulness never gets to God’s compassion, Jesus’ act of redemption, living in the paradigm of we are FORGIVEN. Our sins are gone, so we can confidently enter into the sanctuary with a sincere heart and absolute trust. Any efforts to constantly wallow in our unworthiness is a paranoia of perfection, unrealistic, dehumanizing crushing of dignity. A human rebuttal against the Divine grace of forgiveness. Why would we pout, bemoan our frailties, when God desires our praise? Will we act with childlike emotions, begging for leniency , saying, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry”? Or move beyond that to maturely accept the grace of forgiveness to offer praise in word and lives of service? The first paradigm, everyone loses, for focusing on sin, the past laced with transgressions, takes us away from living in the present moment. How many opportunities to love and live are wasted because we are looking over our shoulder trying to moralize the ancient times in our lives and frequently attempting to offer the proper and precise petitions to remedy the past? Only the praise of forgiveness is a win-win result. We realize the joy instilled with resolve to be more attentive to our calling to the Divine and God on His holy throne relishes our sincere songs of praise—even if we are a bit off key! Empowered by the Holy Spirit, we are to be witnesses to the grace of forgiveness. The manner worthy of the call we have received, with all humility, gentleness, patience bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace as one Body and one Spirit. Each manifesting our God given gifts for the work of ministry throughout the journey of our lives.
How can you encourage your parish to support your local food bank, so food farmers labor to produce will not go to waste?
Celebrate Mother’s Day with the initial meaning : From https://peacealliance.org/about-us/mission-and-vision/
MOTHER’S DAY PROCLAMATION
“Arise, then… women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts,
whether our baptism be that of water or of tears!
We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies.
Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage,
for caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country
to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.
From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own.
It says: Disarm, Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.
Blood does not wipe out dishonor,
nor violence vindicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil
at the summons of war,
let women now leave all that may be left of home
for a great and earnest day of council.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them then solemnly take council with each other as to the means
whereby the great human family can live in peace,
each bearing after his own kind the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
but of God.
In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask
that a general congress of women, without limit of nationality,
may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient,
and at the earliest period consistent with its objects,
to promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
the amicable settlement of international questions,
the great and general interests of peace.“
~ Julia Ward Howe
May 15th is the feast day of St Isidore, a plowman on a farm in Spain. May we pray this week for all who labor in the fields, on farms, and on the oceans to harvest our food. Their long hours and hard work provides substance to physically sustain our lives.
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 May 9, 2018 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.