September 25, 2016: Twenty-sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Catholic Social Teaching: Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
The phenomenon of consumerism maintains a persistent orientation towards “having” rather than “being”. This confuses the “criteria for correctly distinguishing new and higher forms of satisfying human needs from artificial new needs which hinder the formation of a mature personality”. To counteract this phenomenon it is necessary to create “life- styles in which the quest for truth, beauty, goodness and communion with others for the sake of common growth are the factors which determine consumer choices, savings and investments”. It is undeniable that ways of life are significantly influenced by different social contexts, for this reason the cultural challenge that consumerism poses today must be met with greater resolve, above all in consideration of future generations, who risk having to live in a natural environment that has been pillaged by an excessive and disordered consumerism. (360) Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
First Reading: Amos 6:1a, 4-7
Psalm: 146:7, 8-9, 9-10
Second Reading: 1st Timothy 6:11-16
Gospel: Luke 16:19-31
Catechism of the Catholic Church
The principle of solidarity, also articulated in terms of “friendship” or “social charity,” is a direct demand of human and Christian brotherhood.
An error, “today abundantly widespread, is disregard for the law of human solidarity and charity, dictated and imposed both by our common origin and by the equality in rational nature of all men, whatever nation they belong to. This law is sealed by the sacrifice of redemption offered by Jesus Christ on the altar of the Cross to his heavenly Father, on behalf of sinful humanity.” (1939)
From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Twenty-sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Cycle C
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church: No references this week
Does complacency keep us from God? Complacency embodies self-satisfaction accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies, where we cannot see beyond full plates and refrigerators offering numerous choices while others’ plates are empty. Are we stretched out comfortably on couches with TV remotes in hand to isolate ourselves from interacting face to face with the world, the stresses, tensions, needs and heartaches? Reclining on the comfort of wealth and possession can leave us idle. We lose sight of the challenges in our midst and fail to care about what should take precedent in our lives as followers of the Lord.
Being comfortable without pressing needs, do we rely on ourselves to define our path instead of the guidance and challenges of the Holy Spirit to define our actions so we see beyond ourselves? God gives life to all creation. Will we accept His invitation as partners in the continuing unfolding of the Kingdom? Prompted by the prophets, new and old, we see complacency with the status quo, a comfortableness woven into our own smug pleasure, denying the Divine indwelling in our lives that connects us to the web of humanity.
Complacency gives the illusion of comfort, easily flowing through life, but in reality, it creates a silent torment we try to ignore, blotted out with self-indulgence. It extracts from us, by sins of omission, the sacredness of relationships needed with the least among us to truly know the love and mercy of our Father, but we prioritize as avoidable. People at the doors of our lives, but we keep the door bolted shut, exit through another door or walk briskly past without pausing to avoid eye contact with reality.
Who do you need to pause and have a conversation with to pry yourself from complacency, get you off your couch of comfort to see and interact with the challenges of the world? What prophets are you ignoring, but need to take to heart? We can be led into the diaspora of exile from God, not with God’s condemnation, but our indifference crafting a chasm to separate us from God’s bountiful love. Or we can embrace the marginalized to shatter our complacency. In the process, we will be carried away from indifference to faith knowing life is not just about me but a collaboration with our Trinitarian God and all His creation. Our faithful responsibility is not continual charity, like throwing surplus scraps from the table after each meal to the despised dogs, but embracing the Lord’s call to justice for the oppressed, widows and orphans of our time.
Individual Reflection: Amos 6:1a, 4-7
Read Fr John Dear’s new book The Beatitudes of Peace
Prayerful reflect on five people you should share the book with.
Family Reflection: Luke: 16:19-31
Begin planning to coordinate offering CRS Rice Bowl at your parish, parish religious education programs and if applicable your parish’s school. http://www.crsricebowl.org/
Prayer: Watch this mercy video series and let it lead you into prayer and action
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.
List one or two upcoming events, legislative action alerts or social justice websites
By Barb Born September 21, 2016 Feast of St Matthew, St Matthew, Pray for us. The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.