September 13, 2015: Twenty-fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Catholic Social Teaching: Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
The Church’s love for the poor is inspired by the Gospel of the Beatitudes, by the poverty of Jesus and by his attention to the poor. This love concerns material poverty and also the numerous forms of cultural and religious poverty The Church, “since her origin and in spite of the failing of many of her members, has not ceased to work for their relief, defence and liberation through numerous works of charity which remain indispensable always and everywhere”. Prompted by the Gospel injunction, “You have received without paying, give without pay” (Mt 10:8), the Church teaches that one should assist one’s fellow man in his various needs and fills the human community with countless works of corporal and spiritual mercy. “Among all these, giving alms to the poor is one of the chief witnesses to fraternal charity: it is also a work of justice pleasing to God”, even if the practice of charity is not limited to alms-giving but implies addressing the social and political dimensions of the problem of poverty. In her teaching the Church constantly returns to this relationship between charity and justice: “When we attend to the needs of those in want, we give them what is theirs, not ours. More than performing works of mercy, we are paying a debt of justice”. The Council Fathers strongly recommended that this duty be fulfilled correctly, remembering that “what is already due in justice is not to be offered as a gift of charity”. Love for the poor is certainly “incompatible with immoderate love of riches or their selfish use” (cf. Jas 5:1-6). (184)Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
First Reading: Isaiah 50:5-9a
Psalm: 116:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9
Second Reading: James 2:14-18
Gospel: Mark 8:27-35
Catechism of the Catholic Church
The fruits of charity are joy, peace, and mercy; charity demands beneficence and fraternal correction; it is benevolence; it fosters reciprocity and remains disinterested and generous; it is friendship and communion:
Love is itself the fulfillment of all our works. There is the goal; that is why we run: we run toward it, and once we reach it, in it we shall find rest. (1829) From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Sunday of Ordinary Time, Cycle B
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church: No references this week
Faith is not meant to be lived just inside the comfortable confines of a church, sitting in a pew among friends, isolated from the world. An act of worship, praise and thanksgiving, but do we let it transform us, so we have faith? A faith lived once we walk outside the doors of the church. When we genuflect to the tabernacle, do we say good- by Jesus, see you next Sunday or do we acknowledge Jesus’ presence in the Blessed Sacrament is within us, transforms us to live our faith once we exit the church. For in worship we let God open our ears that we might hear of His ways. If we rebel and put earplugs in to silence God we might think we are in control of our lives, but we silence the call of the Gospel. We will only have faith when we realize faith is not about our self-satisfaction of pious holiness to pray the right devotion at the right time in reverenced ambivalence to the world. But we must lose ourselves into the freedom of faith where we deny ourselves the routine of conformity to the same Mass in the same pew each Sunday and find our cross in living the Gospel. Not the Gospel of Barb, Joe, Maria or Jeff in self -preservation of our status and security in life, but our journey is living the Lord’s Gospel. Where He calls us to live for His sake and that of the Gospel, we pray for the coming of the Kingdom and actively participate. We must dismiss the lure of prayerful pondering, to trust the Holy Spirit’s active guidance. For the Gospel is not a passive document, but a call to action, to be in the world affirming the Lord’s mercy, hope and love. We cannot have faith seeing a brother or sister in need and dismiss their presence with a blessing of “Go in Peace, Keep Warm and Eat Well”. With faith, their journey becomes our journey to embrace their challenges as our challenges with charity and justice. If we side step this experience, eventually they will come to us, into our presence, as God will not let their call be silenced or ignored. The migrant, the immigrant, the refugee, the physically and mentally wounded of war, the homeless, the uneducated, the oppressed and demised all seek people of faith and goodwill to offer hope and the light of a new day.
Individual Reflection: Isaiah 50:5-9a
September 15th is the memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows. As Mary suffered the seven sorrows, how are people today suffering similar seven sorrows? Identify one person or group of people that are suffering a sorrow like Mary suffered and each day this week pray for them. How might you journey with those people in charity and justice?
Family Reflection: Mark 8:27-35
September 14th is the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. As a family, reflect on Jesus’ dialogue with Nicodemus in the Gospel reading, John 3:13-17. How does the cross offer meaning to your faith?
If you have a cross hanging on the wall of your home, place it on the dining table this week as a reminder of Jesus’ sacrifice and the redemptive power of the cross.
Awesome God, thank you for the gift of faith. Help us to see faith is not just about ourselves, but a gift to be lived in the world. Let faith open our eyes and minds to those around us, so they truly are brothers and sisters. May we realize faith is a gift that bestows peace in our hearts, so we are your peace in the world. In your Son’s name we pray, 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 31, 2015 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.