August 21, 2016: Twenty-first Sunday of Ordinary Time
Catholic Social Teaching: Solidarity
Review Building Intercultural Competence for Ministers, Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church, USCCB
First Reading: Isaiah 66:18-21
Second Reading: Hebrews 12:5-7, 11-13
Gospel: Luke 13:22-30
Catechism of the Catholic Church
Christ enables us to live in him all that he himself lived, and he lives it in us. “By his Incarnation, he, the Son of God, has in a certain way united himself with each man.” We are called only to become one with him, for he enables us as the members of his Body to share in what he lived for us in his flesh as our model: We must continue to accomplish in ourselves the stages of Jesus’ life and his mysteries and often to beg him to perfect and realize them in us and in his whole Church. . . For it is the plan of the Son of God to make us and the whole Church partake in his mysteries and to extend them to and continue them in us and in his whole Church. This is his plan for fulfilling his mysteries in us. (521) From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Sunday of Ordinary Time, Cycle C
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
The covenant that God established with Abraham, chosen to be “the father of a multitude of nations” (Gen 17:4), opens the way for the human family to make a return to its Creator. The history of salvation leads the people of Israel to believe that God’s action was restricted to their land. Little by little, however, the conviction grows that God is at work also among other nations (cf. Is 19:18-25). The Prophets would announce, for the eschatological times, a pilgrimage of the nations to the Lord’s temple and an era of peace among the peoples (cf. Is 2:2-5, 66:18-23). Israel, scattered in exile, would become definitively aware of its role as a witness to the one God (cf. Is 44:6-8), the Lord of the world and of the history of the nations (cf. Is 44:24-28) (430)
Our pilgrimage to the Lord on his holy mountain cannot exist in isolation from humanity. The journey fails in authenticity if we disinherit blocks of humanity by saying we don’t need you, you are worthless and tag them with names to robe them in indignation instead of familial charity of brothers and sisters.
We may try to define our pilgrimage in grandeur. Feeling we need to stride through an opulent, majestic portal to embrace our awesome God. A contemporary perspective comparable to the paradigm of those anticipating the coming of the Messiah as a dominate ruler. In divine strength, Jesus asks us to have the faith of a mustard seed and strive through the simplicity of a narrow gate. A gate we must walk through individually in faith and commitment, not herded through in masses out of edict, but the conviction of faith. Once through the gate, the panorama, expansiveness of God’s kingdom astounds our senses with far reaching implications impacting all facets of our lived experiences. We realize faith is not just listening to the Word and causal table fellowship for an hour on Sunday, but how that only deepens awareness and provides nourishment to let the kingdom permeate the total fabric of our lives, our socio-economic reality, to every atom in the interconnectedness of creation. Jesus desires us to move beyond an acquaintance with him to solidarity with him.
Stereotypes hinder our pilgrimage, our embracing of the narrow gate. Jesus invites us beyond the exclusive comfort of a Sunday pew. The journey Jesus invites us to welcomes all people and we only relish the kingdom if we realize the sojourn in solidarity with openness to diversity is the key, not individual piety. Like the people from Tarshish (southern Spain ), Put and Lud (Africa ), Tubal (Black Sea) and Javan (Ionian Islands), the four corners of the ancient world have contemporaries today, speaking every language in diversity of cultures. People traveled to God’s holy city on horses, chariots, mules and dromedaries. Today, the modalities have changes. A skateboard, moped, mass transit, an electric vehicle, fuel cell car, jet and electronic communication, but as people of faith we still come together and connect from the diverse four corners of the earth.
Faith can be like a pretty bungee cord woven in a mosaic of colors. We hold it in our hands, stretching it a little bit, but it fails to fulfill its purpose, the potential it was made for. Only when the bungee cord is connected to items by being stretched does the power of a simple looking item achieve its greatness. It embraces other items, not just dangling by itself, to gain strength. Living faith as a bungee cord put into action, we live the words of the prophets, the message of the Messiah to connect ourselves, stretch ourselves, to the diversity, needs and hopes of humanity from the four corners of the earth and fully embrace the kingdom of God.
Individual Reflection: Psalm 117:1, 2
Plan an evening of reflection for your parish on September 1st to celebrate World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation
Get ideas from USCCB :
is an opportunity to pray, reflect and act to care for God’s creation. Numerous resources for this day are available on the USCCB environmental justice page
including prayers, discussion guides, individual action steps, and more.”
Family Reflection: Isaiah 66:18-21
Help your parish celebrate Bread for the World Sunday this October:
Prayer: August 22 is the memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary
“ Instituted by Pope Pius XII, in 1954, this feast commemorates the Blessed Virgin Mary’s participation in the glorious and universal Kingdom of God through her special role in Christ’s Redemption. Though not the source of grace, she is the channel through which all graces are received, the Mediatrix.” From Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Collect for the day:
O God, who made the Mother of your Son to be our Mother and our Queen, graciously grant that, sustained by her intercession, we may attain the heavenly Kingdom the glory promised to your children, Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen
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.
List one or two upcoming events, legislative action alerts or social justice websites
By Barb Born August 10, 2016 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.