September 23, 2018: Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Catholic Social Teaching: Solidarity
We are one human family whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic, and ideological differences. We are our brothers and sisters keepers, wherever they may be. Loving our neighbor has global dimensions in a shrinking world. At the core of the virtue of solidarity is the pursuit of justice and peace. Pope Paul VI taught that if you want peace, work for justice.1 The Gospel calls us to be peacemakers. Our love for all our sisters and brothers demands that we promote peace in a world surrounded by violence and conflict. http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/what-we-believe/catholic-social-teaching/seven-themes-of-catholic-social-teaching.cfm
First Reading: Wisdom 2:12, 17-20
Psalm: 54:3-4, 5, 6-8
Second Reading: James 3:16-4:3
Gospel: Mark 9:30-37
Catechism of the Catholic Church
It remains for the holy people to struggle, with grace from on high, to obtain the good things God promises. In order to possess and contemplate God, Christ‘s faithful mortify their cravings and, with the grace of God, prevail over the seductions of pleasure and power. (2549) From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the, Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:
Jesus refuses the oppressive and despotic power wielded by the rulers of the nations (cf. Mk 10:42) and rejects their pretension in having themselves called benefactors (cf. Lk 22:25), but he does not directly oppose the authorities of his time. In his pronouncement on the paying of taxes to Caesar (cf. Mk 12:13-17; Mt 22:15-22; Lk 20:20-26), he affirms that we must give to God what is God’s, implicitly condemning every attempt at making temporal power divine or absolute: God alone can demand everything from man. At the same time, temporal power has the right to its due: Jesus does not consider it unjust to pay taxes to Caesar.
Jesus, the promised Messiah, fought against and overcame the temptation of a political messianism, characterized by the subjection of the nations (cf. Mt 4:8-11; Lk 4:5-8). He is the Son of Man who came “to serve, and to give his life” (Mk 10:45; cf. Mt 20:24-28: Lk 22:24-27). As his disciples are discussing with one another who is the greatest, Jesus teaches them that they must make themselves least and the servants of all (cf. Mk 9:33- 35), showing to the sons of Zebedee, James and John, who wish to sit at His right hand, the path of the cross (cf. Mk 10:35-40; Mt 20:20-23).(379)
With the Encyclical Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, Pope John Paul II commemorates the twentieth anniversary of Populorum Progressio and deals once more with the theme of development along two fundamental lines: “on one hand, the dramatic situation of the modern world, under the aspect of the failed development of the Third World, and on the other, the meaning of, conditions and requirements for a development worthy of man”. The Encyclical presents differences between progress and development, and insists that “true development cannot be limited to the multiplication of goods and service — to what one possesses — but must contribute to the fullness of the ‘being’ of man. In this way the moral nature of real development is meant to be shown clearly”. Pope John Paul II, alluding to the motto of the pontificate of Pope Pius XII, “opus iustitiae pax” (peace is the fruit of justice), comments: “Today, one could say, with the same exactness and the same power of biblical inspiration (cf. Is 32:17; Jas 3:18), opus solidaritatis pax (peace is the fruit of solidarity)”. (102)
The full truth about man makes it possible to move beyond a contractualistic vision of justice, which is a reductionist vision, and to open up also for justice the new horizon of solidarity and love. “By itself, justice is not enough. Indeed, it can even betray itself, unless it is open to that deeper power which is love”. In fact, the Church’s social doctrine places alongside the value of justice that of solidarity, in that it is the privileged way of peace. If peace is the fruit of justice, “today one could say, with the same exactness and the same power of biblical inspiration (cf. Is 32:17; Jas 3:18): Opus solidaritatis pax, peace as the fruit of solidarity”. The goal of peace, in fact, “will certainly be achieved through the putting into effect of social and international justice, but also through the practice of the virtues which favour togetherness, and which teach us to live in unity, so as to build in unity, by giving and receiving, a new society and a better world”. (203)
Do we want peace in our lives, relationships and the world, but lack the initiative, desire and commitment to cultivate peace? Will finite realms of jealousy wage wars of lust over possessions and power? Can selfish ambitions put profits before respect of the inherent dignity of people? Disorder and every foul practice leads to chaos when peace is not a priority in our lives, Church, communities and the world. An insincerity in living faith, so ulterior motives percolate into action and defiles God given wisdom. But purity of heart displays demeanor full of mercy and bearing good fruits in a gentle spirit compliant to the Divine. With a forthright heart, we must ask for the grace to be instruments of peace not asking for grandiose schemes of braided ladders eliciting self-greatness leading to a mirage within sight but never graspable. Instead as servant leaders, least of all and servants of all, life surrenders cravings for attainment of plausible desires to a commitment to care for others. A sense of security in knowing we are following what Jesus modeled. A route appearing challenging, wrought with surrender to the Father’s will, but the only attainable path of peace, for the world and ourselves. Anything else is phony, a facade of greatness shielding indwelling insecurity needing possessions as a pacifier. When realizing only the Lord upholds our lives, not status symbol shoes, the wheels of a luxury car or the floor of a mcmansion, can we comprehend peace is the ultimate goal God desires for us. Freely, we then respond with charity and justice as a sacrifice of praise to welcome Jesus and the One who sent Him in those we serve.
Consider starting a Pax Christi chapters at your parish for adults and high school youth:
Attend a Campaign Non-Volence event in your community this week: http://www.paceebene.org/programs/campaign-nonviolence/
September 29th is the Feast of the Archangels, Saints Michael,, who fought against Satan, Gabriel, who announced the birth of St John the Baptist to Zachariah and to the Blessed Virgin Mary the birth of Jesus and Raphael who cared for Tobias on his journey, Reflect upon angles present and active in our 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 September 13, 2018 St John Chrysostom, Pray for us The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.