August 3, 2014: Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Catholic Social Teaching: Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
“The common good’s inclusiveness can only be recognized when the most vulnerable and marginalized in our midst, locally and globally, are active participants. When they lack the basic necessities of life, humanity denies their dignity.” From https://cst74life.wordpress.com
First Reading: Isaiah 55:1-3
Psalm: 145:8-9, 15-16, 17-18
Second Reading: Romans 8:35, 37-29
Gospel: Matthew 14:13-21
Catechism of the Catholic Church
Spiritual progress tends toward ever more intimate union with Christ. This union is called “mystical” because it participates in the mystery of Christ through the sacraments – “the holy mysteries” – and, in him, in the mystery of the Holy Trinity. God calls us all to this intimate union with him, even if the special graces or extraordinary signs of this mystical life are granted only to some for the sake of manifesting the gratuitous gift given to all. (2014)
From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
Matthew 4:4b (Gospel Alleluia)
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)
Romans Chapter 8
The salvation offered in its fullness to men in Jesus Christ by God the Father’s initiative, and brought about and transmitted by the work of the Holy Spirit, is salvation for all people and of the whole person: it is universal and integral salvation. It concerns the human person in all his dimensions: personal and social, spiritual and corporeal, historical and transcendent. It begins to be made a reality already in history, because what is created is good and willed by God, and because the Son of God became one of us. Its completion, however, is in the future, when we shall be called, together with all creation (cf. Rom 8), to share in Christ’s resurrection and in the eternal communion of life with the Father in the joy of the Holy Spirit. This outlook shows quite clearly the error and deception of purely immanentistic visions of the meaning of history and in humanity’s claims to self-salvation.
Learning of the demise of John the Baptist, Jesus withdrew by himself and traveled by boat to a deserted place to configure with the desert of his human emotions. The emotions they shared at Jesus’ baptism, now a memory, to reflect in the solitude of a cove or while captaining a boat to and fro riding the wind far away from mundane reality flowing among the streets of towns and villages. Disembarking, crowds awaited Jesus, they too in a deserted place of emotions, seeking, knowing they had to leave behind what caused discord in their souls. Even while wrenched with loss, Jesus left self-pity in the boat to care for the immediate needs before Him. Not a time for length discourses, He cured the sick and prepared a banquet. Upon blessing and breaking the loaves, He gave them to the disciples in an act of empowerment to serve the crowd. Twelve baskets remained after 5,000 men, plus women and children ate and were satisfied. One proverbial basket for each of the twelve disciples to continue the mission of service, amply supplied and blessed.
We are empowered by the blessing and breaking of bread in the Eucharist. Or do we appease our desire to manipulate, control and fashion our own world, so we clothe ourselves in layers of self-serving rhetoric, “I’m so important on my job,” “I can’t take time away from my family,” “I have more important things to do,” to shield us from the Lord’s invitation to” give them some food yourself.” Food not just quantifying physical nourishment, but nurturing by respect and dignity which allows others to experience empowerment as we have been empowered. For we must see that what appears to separate us from God, anguish, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril or the sword, actually unites us with God more deeply. For when we are not hindered by clothing ourselves with “insulation” from God, the Lord is present with us in the challenges and in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us so much as to not insulate himself from the cross. We then realize our baskets are full not just to satisfy our own soul, but those placed before us. Then we don’t dismiss them to buy their own food, send them to another town, to deport them out of our sight and self-defined realm of responsibility. To serve in this perspective, we must acknowledge our thirstiness, our poverty, our living for unfulfillable desires, working at unmeaningful jobs to heedfully listen for a transformation beyond intellect to settle in our hearts, so we may have life. For life is only found in service, not self-service.
Individual Reflection: Psalm 145:8-9, 15-16, 17-18
Include some of Pope Francis’ quotes on social justice in your parish bulletin or read them in your ministry gatherings. Also available on USCCB website in Spanish.
Family Reflection Isaiah 55:1-3
Consider ordering fair trade products for your family, with friends or for a parish fair trade awareness program through CRS’s Community Orders program
Visit the CRS Virtual Chapel and offer a prayer for peace. Provide this link for your parish bulletin and encourage your parish to pray for peace.
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 July 25, 2014 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern