February 18, 2018: First Sunday of Lent
Catholic Social Teaching: Care for Creation
Each creature possesses its own particular goodness and perfection. For each one of the works of the “six days” it is said: “And God saw that it was good.” “By the very nature of creation, material being is endowed with its own stability, truth and excellence, its own order and laws.” Each of the various creatures, willed in its own being, reflects in its own way a ray of God’s infinite wisdom and goodness. Man must therefore respect the particular goodness of every creature, to avoid any disordered use of things which would be in contempt of the Creator and would bring disastrous consequences for human beings and their environment. (339) Catechism of the Catholic Church
First Reading: Genesis 9:8-15
Psalm: 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9
Second Reading: 1st Peter 3:18-22
Gospel: Mark 1:12-15
Catechism of the Catholic Church
This dramatic situation of “the whole world [which] is in the power of the evil one” makes man’s life a battle:
The whole of man’s history has been the story of dour combat with the powers of evil, stretching, so our Lord tells us, from the very dawn of history until the last day. Finding himself in the midst of the battlefield man has to struggle to do what is right, and it is at great cost to himself, and aided by God’s grace, that he succeeds in achieving his own inner integrity. (409) From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the First Sunday of Lent Cycle B
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:
Following the destruction wrought by the flood, God’s covenant with Noah (cf. Gen 9:1-17), and in him with all of humanity, shows that God wants to maintain for the human community the blessing of fertility, the task of subduing creation and the absolute dignity and inviolability of human life that had characterized the first creation. This is God’s desire despite the fact that, with sin, the decadence of violence and injustice, which was punished by the flood, had entered creation. The Book of Genesis presents with admiration the diversity of peoples, the result of God’s creative activity (cf. Gen 10:1-32). At the same time, it denounces man’s refusal to accept his condition as creature with the episode of the Tower of Babel (cf. Gen 11,1-9). In the divine plan, all peoples had “one language and the same words” (cf. Gen 11:1), but humanity became divided, turning its back on the Creator (cf. Gen 11:4).(429)
The universal destination of goods requires a common effort to obtain for every person and for all peoples the conditions necessary for integral development, so that everyone can contribute to making a more humane world, “in which each individual can give and receive, and in which the progress of some will no longer be an obstacle to the development of others, nor a pretext for their enslavement”. This principle corresponds to the call made unceasingly by the Gospel to people and societies of all times, tempted as they always are by the desire to possess, temptations which the Lord Jesus chose to undergo (cf. Mk 1:12-13; Mt 4:1-11; Lk 4:1-13) in order to teach us how to overcome them with his grace. (175)
The Church, the community of those who have been brought together by the Risen Christ and who have set out to follow him, is “the sign and the safeguard of the transcendent dimension of the human person”. She is “in Christ a kind of sacrament — a sign and instrument, that is, of communion with God and of unity among all men” Her mission is that of proclaiming and communicating the salvation wrought in Jesus Christ, which he calls “the Kingdom of God” (Mk 1:15), that is, communion with God and among men. The goal of salvation, the Kingdom of God embraces all people and is fully realized beyond history, in God. The Church has received “the mission of proclaiming and establishing among all peoples the Kingdom of Christ and of God, and she is, on earth, the seed and the beginning of that Kingdom” . (49)
For complete text visit: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/justpeace/documents/rc_pc_justpeace_doc_20060526_compendio-dott-soc_en.html
How many ways God reveals His covenant to us if we just look, listen and feel! Like Noah, do we deeply look at creation, our lives, all creatures embedded as flora and fauna. HIs hand to craft in interconnectedness a prolific diversity of life sustaining and supporting one another. Do we see the covenant articulated from the bow in the sky? A radiance of effervescent colors stretching the breadth of the horizon. With the waters of baptism prefigured in the flood, a covenant of salvation cleanses inequities for freedom to not apprehend ourselves in entanglements of foolish paradigms. A continual call to live in a Trinitarian encampment listening to the profound and subtle inspirations, while feeling guidance from the Holy Spirit. Are we attentive to the covenant with angelic punctuation? The ministering comfort attentive to our personal needs to alleviate parchness of temptation. Each day continually renews the fulfillment of the covenant, the Kingdom of God in our midsts if we only attentively look, listen and feel. A covenant fulfilled in the Gospel, if we repent from denying our interconnectedness with all creation. Renewed, if we stop shying away from the font of baptism’s cleansing afraid of the metaphorical water getting us wet leaving our hair damp and glasses water spotted, the external inconvenience immersed in internal change. A humbleness yoked to justice. The promise of love and truth for keeping our piece of the covenant. Our affirmation of God our savior who shows us the way with our hearts beyond shuttered and chained paradigms to absorption of teachability appealing to our clear conscience. Not one or two Divine words, but every word that comes forth from the mouth of God. We must not piddle with the pieces, but interlock each piece to help create, facilitate and integrate the Kingdom of God in our world today.
Individual Reflection: Mark 1:12-15
Install the CRS Rice Bowl app on your phone to daily live in solidarity with the human family and celebrate the 75th Anniversary of CRS this Lent
Family Reflection: Psalm 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9
February 20th is World Social Justice Day. What will your family do to learn and act more intently for social justice in our Church and the world?
Today, many parishes celebrate the Rite of Sending, where people preparing for baptism, at the Easter Vigil, sign their name in the Book of the Elect before attending the Rite of Election at the diocesan cathedral. Each day of Lent, pray for the people at your parish who will receive the Sacraments of Initiation during the Easter season.
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 February 13, 2018 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.