November 17, 2019: Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time World Day of the Poor
Catholic Social Teaching: Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
Pope Francis homily World Day of the Poor 2018
First Reading: Malachi 3:19-20a
Psalm: 98:5-6, 7-8, 9
Second Reading: 2nd Thessalonians 3:7-12
Gospel: Luke 21:5:19
Catechism of the Catholic Church
Far from diminishing our concern to develop this earth, the expectancy of a new earth should spur us on, for it is here that the body of a new human family grows, foreshadowing in some way the age which is to come. That is why, although we must be careful to distinguish earthly progress clearly from the increase of the kingdom of Christ, such progress is of vital concern to the kingdom of God, insofar as it can contribute to the better ordering of human society. (1049) From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:
2nd Thessalonians 3:6-12 and 3:7-15
The awareness that “the form of this world is passing away” (1 Cor 7:31) is not an exoneration from being involved in the world, and even less from work (cf. 2 Thes 3:7-15), which is an integral part of the human condition, although not the only purpose of life. No Christian, in light of the fact that he belongs to a united and fraternal community, should feel that he has the right not to work and to live at the expense of others (cf. 2 Thes 3:6-12). Rather, all are charged by the Apostle Paul to make it a point of honour to work with their own hands, so as to “be dependent on nobody” (1 Thes 4:12), and to practise a solidarity which is also material by sharing the fruits of their labour with “those in need” (Eph 4:28). Saint James defends the trampled rights of workers: “Behold, the wages of the labourers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts” (Jas 5:4). Believers are to undertake their work in the style of Christ and make it an occasion for Christian witness, commanding “the respect of outsiders” (1 Thes 4:12). (264)
Our lives must not focus on accruing profits, but living as prophets. Not fixated on the bottom line of balance sheets, but the baseline for justice. For one’s expression of justice defines their essence of faith. The Lord came to rule the earth with justice, never heightening the wealthy of financial means or social power. Only to unravel their paradigm. On this World Day of the Poor we must start asking why people are poor and dismiss just throwing well mauled bones of charity to keep them stuck in a stationary position. We must not fear giving testimony to conditions of injustice, to speak out, for silence rests as an affirmation of credence to the state quo. Acts of prophetic voices may seem like toil and drudgery, moving at a snail’s pace of rush hour traffic, but we must not watch ideally by. Time must not be wasted in pettiness of worldly nuances, absorbed in the fruits of consumption of one self and others, but seek where stones literally needed to be unturned. The sacred stones, sacred in seeming untouchable, not in holiness. We must not adore them in idolatry, but must work to roll them along. To remove moss on their surface, so they may be honed from their stationary existence. The Lord seeks justice with equity and if we seek to follow him over profits to be His prophets, let our voices and actions dwell on equity. The perseverance to listen, courage to look and questioning to discern injustice with the prayerful hope of discerning paths of justice for all. This encompasses not just a worldly path of nations, kingdoms and fiefdoms of commerce, but inclusive of spiritual realms that for too long have immobilized people who felt they had no voice. For the evil of inequity must not be ignored, overlooked or allowed to block out the sun of justice and healing rays for those who believe in His name.
Individual Reflection: Luke 21:5:19
Where do you need to be more prophetic in the way you live your life and faith?
Family Reflection: 2nd Thessalonians 3:7-12
Where are workers not paid a fair wage for their labor? How can you support them, so they receive a living wage?
Prayer: From Catholic Campaign for Human Development (also available in Spanish)
Our Lady of Guadalupe for Justice
Most merciful mother, you came to tell us of your compassion through St. Juan Diego, whom you called the littlest and
dearest of your sons. Give your strength and protection to all who live in poverty today, especially the young, elderly, and vulnerable. Plead for them to the Father, that they might experience the Divine Love tangibly in their daily lives, and that all who work for justice on behalf of the poor might grow in fortitude and humility. In these ways, manifest your charity and concern in our lives, that the weeping of humanity may be heard, and all our suffering, pain, and misfortune may be filled with divine comfort and healing. May we always know the peace of being in the cradle of your arms, and bring us safely home to your son, Jesus. Amen.
Catholic Campaign for Human Development
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 November 14, 2019 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.