February 17, 2019: Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Catholic Social Teaching: Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
View this artistic reflection: https://educationforjustice.org/resource/beatitudes/
First Reading: Jeremiah 17:5-8
Psalm: 1:1-2, 3, 4 and 6
Second Reading: 1st Corinthians 15:12, 16-20
Gospel: Luke 6:17, 20-26
Catechism of the Catholic Church
“Blessed are the poor in spirit.” The Beatitudes reveal an order of happiness and grace, of beauty and peace. Jesus celebrates the joy of the poor, to whom the Kingdom already belongs: The Word speaks of voluntary humility as “poverty in spirit”; the Apostle gives an example of God’s poverty when he says: “For your sakes he became poor.” (2546) From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C
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 fulfillment. (325)
1st Corinthians 15:20-28
The Church proclaims that Christ, the conqueror of death, reigns over the universe that he himself has redeemed. His kingdom includes even the present times and will end only when everything is handed over to the Father and human history is brought to completion in the final judgment (cf. 1 Cor 15:20-28). Christ reveals to human authority, always tempted by the desire to dominate, its authentic and complete meaning as service. God is the one Father, and Christ the one Teacher, of all mankind, and all people are brothers and sisters. Sovereignty belongs to God. The Lord, however, “has not willed to reserve to himself all exercise of power. He entrusts to every creature the functions it is capable of performing, according to the capacities of its own nature. This mode of governance ought to be followed in social life. The way God acts in governing the world, which bears witness to such great regard for human freedom, should inspire the wisdom of those who govern human communities. They should behave as ministers of divine providence”.
The biblical message provides endless inspiration for Christian reflection on political power, recalling that it comes from God and is an integral part of the order that he created. This order is perceived by the human conscience and, in social life, finds its fulfillment in the truth, justice, freedom and solidarity that bring peace. (383)
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)
People can be poor and rich in the same moment. The instantaneous paradox that Jesus spoke on the plane and resonates today in countless expressions across cultural and national landscapes. People who society would define poor in abject material poverty, possess the Kingdom of God. From an understating of the interconnectedness of creation, the spatial reality of time, the aura of celebration woven into life’s fabric and a faith no money could secure. People can be hungry and satisfied at the same time. Dining on the most luscious food and drink, but starving for lack of a piece of the Kingdom. People need to know who their friends really are and not vacillating about hanging with the social in crowd. For it is not who we know, but having friends who make us who we are. The fear of social exclusion must never wedge us away from hanging out and living as our Best Fried, the Lord, desires. False prophets, in and outside the Church, distort the message Jesus spoke not just to His disciples, but a large number of people from Hebrew and Gentile regions that day and the continuing invitation to all humanity everyday An affirmation of Jesus’ proclamation of paradoxes is for all people to ponder and absorb in the activities and relationships of their lives. A challenge for people to journey trusting in the need for God and salvation of the cross in their lives or reverting to reliances on possessions and personal attributes. A reveling of transitory pleasures or rejoicing today with gladness for the great reward in heaven. With our choices we grow roots or blow in the wind with changing direction and velocity that can land one in the proverbial barren desert, an eventual reality of a parched landscape of the soul or the porosity of a lava flow unable to hold a drop of Living Water. The option in life to bear good fruit that will last or be takers, consumers to rob others of their justice due. The path grounded in humbleness or maintaining the company of haughty insolent. Jesus stepped back from His inheritance and for our sake became poor. Our spiritual inheritance invites us to surrender into a poverty of Spirit. The opportunity to live our lives, affirm our faith with clarity of perseverance towards what really matters and shed ourselves of temporary, superficial realities.
Individual Reflection:Psalm 1:1-2, 3, 4 and 6
Encourage your parish to host Encounter Dinners, to learn about cultural diversity in your parish and the broader community.
Read about Pope Francis’ support for the program:
Family Reflection: Luke 6:17:20-26
Watch this video on the Beatitudes and discuss how it is relevant to your family’s life. What actions can you take as a family to better live the Beatitudes?
Reflect on the Beatitudes this week: Matthew 5:1-12 and Luke 6:17-26
How do you feel their challenges influence your life, the Church and society?
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 February 13, 2019 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.