May 17, 2020: Sixth Sunday of Easter
Catholic Social Teaching: Care for God’s Creation
Celebrate Laudato Sí Week
First Reading: Acts 8:5-8, 14-17
Psalm: 66:1-3, 4-5, 6-7, 16, 20
Second Reading: 1st Peter 3:15-18 or 1st Peter 4:13-16
Gospel: John 14:15-21 or John 17:1-11a
*When the Ascension of the Lord is celebrated on what would be the Seventh Sunday of Easter, the second reading and Gospel from the Seventh Sunday of Easter may be read on the Sixth Sunday of Easter*
Catechism of the Catholic Church
Because the Holy Spirit is the anointing of Christ, it is Christ who, as the head of the Body, pours out the Spirit among his members to nourish, heal, and organize them in their mutual functions, to give them life, send them to bear witness, and associate them to his self-offering to the Father and to his intercession for the whole world. Through the Church’s sacraments, Christ communicates his Holy and sanctifying Spirit to the members of his Body. (739) From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Sixth Sunday of Easter, Cycle A
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:
John 14:16, 20
The documents referred to here constitute the milestones of the path travelled by the Church’s social doctrine from the time of Pope Leo XIII to our own day. This brief summary would become much longer if we considered all the interventions motivated, other than by a specific theme, by “the pastoral concern to present to the entire Christian community and to all men of good will the fundamental principles, universal criteria and guidelines suitable for suggesting basic choices and coherent practice for every concrete situation”.
In the formulation and teaching of this social doctrine, the Church has been, and continues to be, prompted not by theoretical motivation but by pastoral concerns. She is spurred on by the repercussions that social upheavals have on people, on multitudes of men and women, on human dignity itself, in contexts where “man painstakingly searches for a better world, without working with equal zeal for the betterment of his own spirit”. For these reasons, this social doctrine has arisen and developed an “updated doctrinal ‘corpus’ … [that] builds up gradually, as the Church, in the fullness of the word revealed by Christ Jesus and with the assistance of the Holy Spirit (cf. Jn 14:16,26; 16:13-15), reads events as they unfold in the course of history”.(104)
John 14:21, 23-24
The Church has the right to be a teacher for mankind, a teacher of the truth of faith: the truth not only of dogmas but also of the morals whose source lies in human nature itself and in the Gospel. The word of the Gospel, in fact, is not only to be heard but is also to be observed and put into practice (cf. Mt 7:24; Lk 6:46-47; Jn 14:21,23-24; Jas 1:22). Consistency in behavior shows what one truly believes and is not limited only to things strictly church-related or spiritual but involves men and women in the entirety of their life experience and in the context of all their responsibilities. However worldly these responsibilities may be, their subject remains man, that is, the human being whom God calls, by means of the Church, to participate in his gift of salvation.
Men and women must respond to the gift of salvation not with a partial, abstract or merely verbal acceptance, but with the whole of their lives — in every relationship that defines life — so as not to neglect anything, leaving it in a profane and worldly realm where it is irrelevant or foreign to salvation. For this reason the Church’s social doctrine is not a privilege for her, nor a digression, a convenience or interference: it is her right to proclaim the Gospel in the context of society, to make the liberating word of the Gospel resound in the complex worlds of production, labor, business, finance, trade, politics, law, culture, social communications, where men and women live. (70)
The new reality that Jesus Christ gives us is not grafted onto human nature nor is it added from outside: it is rather that reality of communion with the Trinitarian God to which men and women have always been oriented in the depths of their being, thanks to their creaturely likeness to God. But this is also a reality that people cannot attain by their own forces alone. Through the Spirit of Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God, in whom this reality of communion has already been brought about in a singular manner, men and women are received as children of God (cf. Rom 8:14-17; Gal 4:4-7). By means of Christ, we share in the nature of God, who gives us infinitely more “than all that we ask or think” (Eph 3:20). What mankind has already received is nothing more than a token or a “guarantee” (2 Cor 1:22; Eph 1:14) of what it will receive in its fullness only in the presence of God, seen “face to face” (1 Cor 13:12), that is, a guarantee of eternal life: “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (Jn 17:3). (122)
We share our faith not by domination, in your face, listen to me, chapter and verse proclaimed with rhetorically precision, but the gentleness and persuasion inherent from the reason for our hope. The essence of faith that nourishes our soul, puts our faith in stride with the rhythm of life. Our acknowledgement of believing in the Lord by how we live our life. The blessings of finding spiritual contentment only by doing good to creation, others and ourselves. Anything else leaves us feeling maligned from the Gospel’s call to love God and neighbor, care for the least among us while we live attached to the true vine. The resiliency from being pruned and bud on a branch attached to the vine, so the Lord’s joy flows in us with complete exhilaration. A witness not layered with intellectual eloquence, but unquestionable conduct. No opportunity for others to discredit, defame or malign one’s actions. At times, there may seem like a cavern of distance, disassociation from the world, but we must always trust God as the ultimate source of our love and the indwelling affirmation leading us to God. Any shame directed by the world only layers pseudo properties of maliciousness, unfounded despair and guilt. Easily dismissed by our ultimate infinity with God that Christ leads us to through the cross. For our transgressions rooted in the world fail to label our identity, for our true self comes from being a Christian. Where we are brought to life in the Spirit, from the Advocate who always abides in us. Pondering truth, to discern the goodness we are called to from the realization that Christ is in the Father, He is in us and we are in Him, never leaves us orphans in the world. A possession of His commandments, observed out of love, not fear, to the Lord and His Father. From our baptism of water and the Spirit, we sing praise to the glory of His name with heartfelt devotion in these days of Easter joy, for all He has done for us. The expression of eternal life knowing the one, true God and the One He sent. Jesus Christ, who we glorify by accomplishing the work He gives us to do. For the Lord revealed the Divine to us, as we belong to the Divine and everything we have belongs to God. We believe He sent Jesus, who returned to the Father. Our Lord who prays for us to live in God’s grace even as we are in the world.
Individual Reflection: Acts 8:5-8, 14-17
Read about the challenges of water in Ethiopia
Family Reflection: 1st Peter 3:15-18
How does your family support the message of this video while practicing “safer at home” restrictions?
Prayer: Share Laudato Sí week prayer:
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 13, 2020. Our Lady of Fatima, Pray for us ! The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.