June 21,, 2020: Twelfth Sunday Ordinary Time
Catholic Social Teaching: Life and Dignity of the Human Person
“…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” (Gaudium et Spes)…” (104) Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
First Reading: Jeremiah 20:10-13
Psalm: 69:8-10, 14, 17, 33-35
Second Reading: Romans 5:12-15
Gospel: Matthew 10:26-33
Catechism of the Catholic Church
It is then we must turn to the witnesses of faith: to Abraham, who “in hope. . . believed against hope”; to the Virgin Mary, who, in “her pilgrimage of faith”, walked into the “night of faith” in sharing the darkness of her son’s suffering and death; and to so many others: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.”(165) From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the, Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle A
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:
This marvellous vision of man’s creation by God is inseparable from the tragic appearance of original sin. With a clear affirmation the Apostle Paul sums up the account of man’s fall contained in the first pages of the Bible: “Sin came into the world through one man and death through sin” (Rom 5:12). Man, against God’s prohibition, allows himself to be seduced by the serpent and stretches out his hand to the tree of life, falling prey to death. By this gesture, man tries to break through his limits as a creature, challenging God, his sole Lord and the source of his life. It is a sin of disobedience (cf. Rom 5:19) that separates man from God. (115)
With her social doctrine not only does the Church not stray from her mission but she is rigorously faithful to it. The redemption wrought by Christ and entrusted to the saving mission of the Church is certainly of the supernatural order. This dimension is not a delimitation of salvation but rather an integral expression of it. The supernatural is not to be understood as an entity or a place that begins where the natural ends, but as the raising of the natural to a higher plane. In this way nothing of the created or the human order is foreign to or excluded from the supernatural or theological order of faith and grace, rather it is found within it, taken on and elevated by it. “In Jesus Christ the visible world which God created for man (cf. Gen 1:26-30) — the world that, when sin entered, ‘was subjected to futility’ (Rom 8:20; cf. Rom 8:19-22) — recovers again its original link with the divine source of Wisdom and Love. Indeed, ‘God so loved the world that he gave his only Son’ (Jn 3:16). As this link was broken in the man Adam, so in the Man Christ it was reforged (cf. Rom 5:12-21)”. (64)
Christian realism sees the abysses of sin, but in the light of the hope, greater than any evil, given by Jesus Christ’s act of redemption, in which sin and death are destroyed (cf. Rom 5:18-21; 1 Cor 15:56-57): “In him God reconciled man to himself”. It is Christ, the image of God (cf. 2 Cor 4:4; Col 1:15), who enlightens fully and brings to completion the image and likeness of God in man. The Word that became man in Jesus Christ has always been mankind’s life and light, the light that enlightens every person (cf. Jn 1:4,9). God desires in the one mediator Jesus Christ, his Son, the salvation of all men and women (cf. 1 Tim 2:4-5). Jesus is at the same time the Son of God and the new Adam, that is, the new man (cf. 1 Cor 15:47-49; Rom 5:14): “Christ the new Adam, in the very revelation of the mystery of the Father and of his love, fully reveals man to himself and brings to light his most high calling”. In him we are, by God, “predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren” (Rom 8:29). (121)
Silence is only golden in contemplation. As opting for silence when words need to be spoke makes one complicit to the message wrought in silence, but should be articulated. With maintained silence, eventually the words will come forth from someone’s mouth, for nothing remained concealed that will not eventually be revealed. For a secret is truth just waiting for light to be shed. Fear contributes to silence, woven into truth to make the complicit even more stuck in quicksand of doubting what to do. For if we value exposing darkness, the whispers of wretched details must be broadcast to reach more ears, change more hearts to open people’s eyes to see the reality of phony facades. Whether in spiritual realms, personal priorities or the working of complex corporate designs, complicity of silence only allows the unthinkable to exist. Without your voice, our voices change is impossible, healing unheard of, a denial of Gospel values. The silence to speak of what Jesus affirmed, we deny the Lord. A silent affirmation to where fear binds us, chained to injustice experientially, emotionally or ideologically. To give voice to silence may mean the loss of friends, our mind and heart is probed for our true identity as one intoned to the cause of the Lord. For our plea in supplication, Lord in your great love answer me, comes clarity and resolve to shed silence for the voice only each individual can give renascence to their particular atonal perspective. Each with one’s own eyes see the insults of silence blaspheme the poor, oppressed, abandoned to indirectly blaspheme God. Silence tarnished numerous eras of history, nations and the Church, as many people who knew the reality felt unworthy, insignificant to speak. But one voice speaking allows the crescendo of voices’ pronouncement of injustice to begin. When the zeal for the house of the Lord consumes us, silence can no longer seal lips, stop the pen or turn off keyboards, as the cause is entrusted to the Lord. What can you be silent about no more and testify to this day?
Individual Reflection: Jeremiah 20:10-13
June 24th is the nativity of John the Baptist, the last Biblical prophet in Scripture. Who are prophets that inspire you today and how can you support their voice? Share your reflection with five people.
Family Reflection: Matthew 10:26-33
Talk about healthy and unhealthy fears
Prayer: Reflect on the readings from Jeremiah, as he moved beyond silence to speak, the challenges he encountered and Jesus’s exhortation for the disciples to speak in Matthew chapter 10. Prayerfully reflect on where and how you need to speak to bring darkness to light.
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 16, 2020 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.