March 24, 2019: Third Sunday of Lent
Catholic Social Teaching: Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
At the beginning of Psalm 128, the father appears as a labourer who by the work of his hands sustains the physical well-being and tranquillity of his family: “You shall eat the fruit of the labour of your hands; you shall be happy, and it shall be well with you” (Ps 128:2). It is clear from the very first pages of the Bible that work is an essential part of human dignity…we can appreciate the suffering created by unemployment and the lack of steady work, as reflected in the Book of Ruth, Jesus’ own parable of the labourers forced to stand idly in the town square (Mt 20:1-16), and his personal experience of meeting people suffering from poverty and hunger. Sadly, these realities are present in many countries today, where the lack of employment opportunities takes its toll on the serenity of family life. Nor can we overlook the social degeneration brought about by sin, as, for example, when human beings tyrannize nature, selfishly and even brutally ravaging it. This leads to the desertification of the earth (cf. Gen 3:17-19) and those social and economic imbalances denounced by the prophets, beginning with Elijah (cf. 1 Kg 21) and culminating in Jesus’ own words against injustice (cf. Lk 12:13; 16:1-31). (23, 25-6)
Amoris Laetitia Pope Francis
First Reading: Exodus 3:1-8a, 13-15
Psalm: 103:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8,11
Second Reading: 1st Corinthians10:1-6, 10-12
Gospel: Luke 13:1-9
Catechism of the Catholic Church
As St. Paul affirms, “Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.” But to do its work grace must uncover sin so as to convert our hearts and bestow on us “righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”119 Like a physician who probes the wound before treating it, God, by his Word and by his Spirit, casts a living light on sin:
Conversion requires convincing of sin; it includes the interior judgment of conscience, and this, being a proof of the action of the Spirit of truth in man’s inmost being, becomes at the same time the start of a new grant of grace and love: “Receive the Holy Spirit.” Thus in this “convincing concerning sin” we discover a double gift: the gift of the truth of conscience and the gift of the certainty of redemption. The Spirit of truth is the Consoler. (1848) From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the, Third Sunday of Lent, Cycle C
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:
Researching footnote references, so not including these references at this time.
When we see life failing to bear fruit, what is our reaction? Do we focus on the grumbling, the void of hope to perpetuate the essence of futility? Do we quickly depart the scene to distance ourselves from the pitiful environment? Do we gossip about the reality to stretch its reach farther than its actual confines? Do we sincerely pray, but at a distance? Or do we help cultivate the ground and metaphorically let the person put down roots of faith, absorbing the nourishment to produce good fruit? Cultivating the ground for faith to grow in our parish communities means putting the sheath over the ax blade poised to chop away. A premature action to make dead wood could make a statement of writing people off before they even had a chance to consider or express repentance to blossom forth. Repentance of rotating away from sin to turn to the Son. To absorb light to become light in the world instead of perishing into the abyss of separation from God. Who could ignore the benefits of the Lord who is kind, gracious, merciful, pardons all inequities, heals all ills, secures justice and rights of the oppressed to redeem life from destruction? Sin, the separation from God may feel lofty, secure, but in essence poised to fall. But the fire of the Holy Spirit will infuse us with courage, energy and direction if our feet our planted firmly on Holy Ground. A need for us to remove thick souls that insulate us from embracing and matriculating in all God offers and desires we become to connect with pliable souls the holiness of each moment of time and place. With lugs of traction on our souls, the realization we don’t need to shelter our being from the world but investigate, educate and see the face of God in all. For He is I AM through all generations!
Individual Reflection: 1st Corinthians 10:1-6, 10-12
Share these videos from the Diocese of San Diego about sustainability with your parish and help your parish to discern supporting sustainability and care for creation. If your parish has video screens in the church, ask that the videos be shown to parishioners so they are encouraged to adapt sustainability in their personal purchasing decisions.
Family Reflection: Exodus 3:1-8a, 13-15
Take a meditative walk to reflect on the Holy Ground we walk upon.
Prayer: Watch, listen and reflect on the song Holy Ground
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 March 21, 2019 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.