June 28, 2020: Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Catholic Social Teaching: Rights and Responsibilities
The demands of the common good are dependent on the social conditions of each historical period and are strictly connected to respect for and the integral promotion of the person and his fundamental rights. These demands concern above all the commitment to peace, the organization of the State’s powers, a sound juridical system, the protection of the environment, and the provision of essential services to all, some of which are at the same time human rights: food, housing, work, education and access to culture, transportation, basic health care, the freedom of communication and expression, and the protection of religious freedom. Nor must one forget the contribution that every nation is required in duty to make towards a true worldwide cooperation for the common good of the whole of humanity and for future generations also. (166) Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
First Reading: 2nd Kings 4:8-11, 14-16a
Psalm: 89:2-3, 16-17, 18-19
Second Reading: Romans 6:3-4, 8-11
Gospel Antiphone: 1st Peter 2:9
Gospel: Matthew 10:37-42
Catechism of the Catholic Church
The way of perfection passes by way of the Cross. There is no holiness without renunciation and spiritual battle. Spiritual progress entails the ascesis and mortification that gradually lead to living in the peace and joy of the Beatitudes: “He who climbs never stops going from beginning to beginning, through beginnings that have no end. He never stops desiring what he already knows.” (2015) From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:
Psalm 89: 2-38
The prototype of the king chosen by Yahweh is David, whose humble origins are a favourite topic of the biblical account (cf. 1 Sam 16:1-13). David is the recipient of the promise (cf. 2 Sam 7:13-16; Ps 89:2-38, 132:11-18), which places him at the beginning of a special kingly tradition, the “messianic” tradition. Notwithstanding all the sins and infidelities of David and his successors, this tradition culminates in Jesus Christ, who is par excellence “Yahweh’s anointed” (that is, “the Lord’s consecrated one”, cf. 1 Sam 2:35, 24:7,11, 26:9,16; Ex 30:22-32), the son of David (cf. Mt 1:1-17; Lk 3:23-38; Rom 1:3).
The failure of kingship on the historical level does not lead to the disappearance of the ideal of a king who, in fidelity to Yahweh, will govern with wisdom and act in justice. This hope reappears time and again in the Psalms (cf. Ps 2, 18, 20, 21, 72). In the messianic oracles, the figure of a king endowed with the Lord’s Spirit, full of wisdom and capable of rendering justice to the poor, is awaited in eschatological times (cf. Is 11:2-5; Jer 23:5-6). As true shepherd of the people of Israel (cf. Ezek 34:23-24, 37:24), he will bring peace to the nations (cf. Zech 9:9-10). In Wisdom Literature, the king is presented as the one who renders just judgments and abhors iniquity (cf. Prov 16:12), who judges the poor with equity (cf. Prov 29:14) and is a friend to those with a pure heart (cf. Prov 22:11). There is a gradual unfolding of the proclamation of what the Gospels and other New Testament writings see fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth, the definitive incarnation of what the Old Testament foretold about the figure of the king. (378)
Matthew 10: 40-42
The new relationships of interdependence between individuals and peoples, which are de facto forms of solidarity, have to be transformed into relationships tending towards genuine ethical-social solidarity. This is a moral requirement inherent within all human relationships. Solidarity is seen therefore under two complementary aspects: that of a social principle[ 415] and that of a moral virtue.
Solidarity must be seen above all in its value as a moral virtue that determines the order of institutions. On the basis of this principle the “structures of sin” that dominate relationships between individuals and peoples must be overcome. They must be purified and transformed into structures of solidarity through the creation or appropriate modification of laws, market regulations, and juridical systems.
Solidarity is also an authentic moral virtue, not a “feeling of vague compassion or shallow distress at the misfortunes of so many people, both near and far. On the contrary, it is a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good. That is to say to the good of all and of each individual, because we are all really responsible for all”. Solidarity rises to the rank of fundamental social virtue since it places itself in the sphere of justice. It is a virtue directed par excellence to the common good, and is found in “a commitment to the good of one’s neighbour with the readiness, in the Gospel sense, to ‘lose oneself’ for the sake of the other instead of exploiting him, and to ‘serve him’ instead of oppressing him for one’s own advantage (cf. Mt 10:40-42, 20:25; Mk 10:42-45; Lk 22:25-27)”. (193)
Personal and social life, as well as human action in the world, is always threatened by sin. Jesus Christ, however, “by suffering for us … not only gave us an example so that we might follow in His footsteps, but He also opened up a way. If we follow this path, life and death are made holy and acquire a new meaning”. Christ’s disciple adheres, in faith and through the sacraments, to Jesus’ Paschal Mystery, so that his old self, with its evil inclinations, is crucified with Christ. As a new creation he is then enabled by grace to “walk in newness of life” (Rom 6:4). This “holds true not for Christians alone but also for all people of good will in whose hearts grace is active invisibly. For since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partners, in a way known to God, in the Paschal Mystery”. (41)
The words of prophets make people whole, strips away inadequacies and problematic identity. Grounded in the ability to listen to cultural nuances, protocol creating systematic inferiority beyond human intellect and will. The reciprocity of giving gifts inherent from the Divine welcome of hospitality defining, seeing holiness exhibited in arranging for the basic needs of another. The protocol of Hebrew law stated the emissary of an official was to be welcomed just as the official would be welcomed. A call Jesus reminded His disciples to be cognizant of and speaks to us today. The call for living as the presence of Christ in the world. A reminder of how we present ourselves and welcome others ultimately emanates to our Creator who sent the Lord into humanity. Understanding that on a philosophical, theological and ultimately personal experience of one’s heart, we receive the reward of seeing the Divine in all we encounter, as the core of who their being entails. An identity more profound than familia labels and bonds. A message of discipleship, the call to know our ultimate identity rests in our relationship with God. The call to follow Jesus within the paradigm of the cross knowing personal priorities, satisfying personal dreams only partitions us from our true identity and seeing the true identity of others. The spiritual grasping of our cross gives us a newness of life in living for God in Christ Jesus. A faithfulness established for ever in heaven and what we strive to emulate in receiving and giving Divine hospitality to display the goodness of the Lord. A new song we sign, a melody, realizing we are called out of darkness into His wonderful light. A rejoicing steeped in justice to see those stigmatized by audacity of cultural mores to dismiss their inherent goodness and limit their influence, or even threaten their survival, beckons us to stand at open doors to hear the voice of prophets reminding us to see societal barriers falsely defining and limiting the Divine nature and potential in all. For ultimately our identity rests in the Holy One and from that profound place of peace our lives flow.
Individual Reflection: Matthew 10:37-42
A line in the Collect for July 4th says, “…grant that under your providence, our country may share your blessings with all the peoples of the earth…”. How can you help fulfill this petition and invite others to join you?
Family Reflection: 2nd Kings 4:8-11, 14-16a
In the time of pandemic, how can your family share hospitality?
July 3rd is the Feast of St Thomas. He is portrayed initially in the Gospel as a doubter, but journeyed as a disciple to India. Reflect in thanksgiving how your doubt emerged into faith.
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 June 24, 2020. St. John the Baptist, pray for us! The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.