September 2, 2018: Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Catholic Social Teaching: Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
The Lord promises refreshment and freedom to all the oppressed of our world, but he needs us to fulfill his promise. He needs our eyes to see the needs of our brothers and sisters. He needs our hands to offer them help. He needs our voice to protest the injustices committed thanks to the silence, often complicit, of so many. I should really speak of many silences: the silence of common sense; the silence that thinks, ‘it’s always been done this way;’ the silence of ‘us’ as opposed to ‘you.’ Above all, the Lord needs our hearts to show his merciful love towards the least, the outcast, the abandoned, the marginalized.” Pope Francis Homily at Mass for Immigrants , July 6, 2018. Read the entire homily: http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/homilies/2018/documents/papa-francesco_20180706_omelia-migranti.html
First Reading: Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-8
Psalm: 15:2-3, 3-4, 4-5
Second Reading:: JAMES 1:17-18, 21b-22, 27
Gospel: Mark 78:1-8, 14-15, 21-23
Catechism of the Catholic Church
The sixth beatitude proclaims, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” “Pure in heart” refers to those who have attuned their intellects and wills to the demands of God’s holiness, chiefly in three areas: charity; chastity or sexual rectitude; love of truth and orthodoxy of faith. There is a connection between purity of heart, of body, and of faith:
The faithful must believe the articles of the Creed “so that by believing they may obey God, by obeying may live well, by living well may purify their hearts, and with pure hearts may understand what they believe.” (2518) From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the, Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:
This document is proposed also to the brethren of other Churches and Ecclesial Communities, to the followers of other religions, as well as to all people of good will who are committed to serving the common good: may they receive it as the fruit of a universal human experience marked by countless signs of the presence of God’s Spirit. It is a treasury of things old and new (cf. Mt 13:52), which the Church wishes to share, in thanksgiving to God, from whom comes “every good endowment and ever perfect gift” (Jas 1:17). It is a sign of hope in the fact that religions and cultures today show openness to dialogue and sense the urgent need to join forces in promoting justice, fraternity, peace and the growth of the human person.
The Catholic Church joins her own commitment to that made in the social field by other Churches and Ecclesial Communities, whether at the level of doctrinal reflection or at the practical level. Together with them, the Catholic Church is convinced that from the common heritage of social teachings preserved by the living tradition of the people of God there will come motivations and orientations for an ever closer cooperation in the promotion of justice and peace. (12)
The gratuitousness of this historically efficacious divine action is constantly accompanied by the commitment to the covenant, proposed by God and accepted by Israel. On Mount Sinai, God’s initiative becomes concrete in the covenant with his people, to whom is given the Decalogue of the commandments revealed by the Lord (cf. Ex 19-24). The “ten commandments” (Ex 34:28; cf. Deut 4:13; 10:4) “express the implications of belonging to God through the establishment of the covenant. Moral existence is a response to the Lord’s loving initiative. It is the acknowledgment and homage given to God and a worship of thanksgiving. It is cooperation with the plan God pursues in history”.
The Ten Commandments, which constitute an extraordinary path of life and indicate the surest way for living in freedom from slavery to sin, contain a privileged expression of the natural law. They “teach us the true humanity of man. They bring to light the essential duties, and therefore, indirectly, the fundamental rights inherent in the nature of the human person”. They describe universal human morality. In the Gospel, Jesus reminds the rich young man that the Ten Commandments (cf. Mt 19:18) “constitute the indispensable rules of all social life”. (70)
Scrupulous holiness can imprison one’s faith to become only hearers of the word, creating a delusion of holiness defining faith in a pristine environment of pious devotion. Faith never prying itself away from prayer, adoration, devotions or the confessional to act on the words of Jesus in the world. The need to walk out of the Church to the sidewalks of life. A process of seeing the reality of what we heard and received at mass engaging us in the world. We must not let the words gloss over to platitudes or dissect them with fine precision to extract pinpoint technicalities while ignoring the dynamic paradigms of the world around us. Never seeing the face of a hungry person, a child’s future void of education, the chill of a person spending the night on a cardboard mattress with the boxsprings of a concrete sidewalk, a racial slur taken across the brow of a farm worker toiling in triple digit heat. The Eucharist does not prepare us to sit for an eternity, fearful to get the messiness of the world on our hands. For we live in the presence of the Lord by doing justice. Not an authoritarian posture of self-vindication, but where truth lives in one’s heart, one’s tongue slanders not, no bribes accepted for false endeavors. As doers of the word, one neither adds or subtracts for the commandments set before us are carefully observed each day. With a default position to sit in passive attentiveness, only deludes one self from the reality of the word living and effective. A religion not masked in possessive holiness, but in purity to care for the orphans and widows. The most vulnerable should be our primary concern, not prioritizing self-indulging, personal holiness. Faith should free us from the pew after we hear the word, to act as doers of the word placed in our hearts and hands.
Individual Reflection: Psalm 15:2-3, 3-4, 4-5
For Labor Day Weekend, show this USCCB and CRS collaborated video on the Dignity of Work and Rights of Workers on the video screen before mass and place a link to the video in the bulletin: https://youtu.be/G2G8jGOva7Y
Personally, what does the video challenge you to do?
Family Reflection: James 1:17-18, 21b-22, 27
Reflect on the application and response of the readings to the dignity of work and rights of workers as we celebrate Labor Day:
How does the dignity of work and rights of workers incorporate into Catholic Social Teachings?
Prayer: USCCB Labor Day Prayer
Prayer for Work
thank you for providing us
with the gift to share our talents.
Provide our community, our nation, our world the fortitude to provide work for all
which is decent and fair.
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 August 10, 2018 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.