October 18, 2015:Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Catholic Social Teaching: Solidarity
“The question is not are you having fun yet? Rather, it is how may I help you? Reaching out to those in need reminds us that we are all connected, and that the ultimately we need each other. St Vincent de Paul once said, “After you have helped someone in need, thank them for the privileges of that service, for you have experienced Christ in the encounter.” From Soul-Centered Spirituality for People on the Go, (33), by Fr Jim Clarke
First Reading: Isaiah 53:10-11
Psalm: 33:4-5, 18-19, 20 ,22
Second Reading: Hebrews 4:14-16
Gospel: Mark 10:35-45
Catechism of the Catholic Church
Faith is an entirely free gift that God makes to man. We can lose this priceless gift, as St. Paul indicated to St. Timothy: “Wage the good warfare, holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting conscience, certain persons have made shipwreck of their faith. “To live, grow and persevere in the faith until the end we must nourish it with the word of God; we must beg the Lord to increase our faith; it must be “working through charity,” abounding in hope, and rooted in the faith of the Church. (162) From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:
Mark 10:35-40, 42, 45
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. Lk22:25), 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)
The new relationships of interdependence between individuals and peoples, which arede facto forms of solidarity, have to be transformed into relationships tending towards genuine ethical-social solidarity. This is a moral requirement inherent within all human relationships. Solidarity is seen therefore under two complementary aspects: that of a social principle and that of a moral virtue.
Solidarity must be seen above all in its value as a moral virtue that determines the order of institutions. On the basis of this principle the “structures of sin” that dominate relationships between individuals and peoples must be overcome. They must be purified and transformed into structures of solidarity through the creation or appropriate modification of laws, market regulations, and juridical systems.
Solidarity is also an authentic moral virtue, not a “feeling of vague compassion or shallow distress at the misfortunes of so many people, both near and far. On the contrary, it is a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good. That is to say to the good of all and of each individual, because we are all really responsible for all”. Solidarity rises to the rank of fundamental social virtue since it places itself in the sphere of justice. It is a virtue directed par excellence to the common good, and is found in “a commitment to the good of one’s neighbour with the readiness, in the Gospel sense, to ‘lose oneself’ for the sake of the other instead of exploiting him, and to ‘serve him’ instead of oppressing him for one’s own advantage (cf. Mt 10:40-42, 20:25; Mk 10:42-45; Lk 22:25-27)”. (193)
Service has a connotation of busily assisting others, doing tasks with precision. One meaning of service simply pronounces to stand by. This could involve assisting someone, but defines a deeper commitment to just be there. Someone knows you are by their side figuratively to listen, console and support. Servants gives of themselves by giving of their time for they fathom time is a gift from God to be shared. Any essence of authority, to lord over others, evaporates in realizing dominance paves a futile road to implosion of community. Servants grasp the interconnectedness of all people. Reciprocity of serving others and letting people serve us, so solidarity flourishes. Living with a servant mindset and heart, we follow the example of Jesus. We can wallow in indignance when we observe people obsessed with power grabs. That should lead us not to rage, but prayerfully approach the throne of grace for mercy and serve by example. A voice the world revolves not around me but us, to manifest the kindness of the Lord on earth.
Individual Reflection: Hebrews 4:14-16
The feast day of St Luke is October 18th. He was a convert to Christianity and accompanied St Paul on several journeys. In addition to writing the Gospel, he wrote Acts. Consider sharing your faith by being a sponsor for a person journeying to the Sacraments in RCIA.
Family Reflection: Mark 10:35-45.
How can your family be servants to others outside your nuclear family? Discuss interdependence your family has with others in society.
Reflect on the words of Servant Song by Richard Gilliard
Will you let me be your servant
Let me be as Christ to you
Pray that I might have the grace
To let you be my servant too
We are pilgrims on the journey
We are travelers on the road
We are here to help each other
Walk the mile and bear the load
I will hold the Christ light for you
In the night time of your fear
I will hold my hand out to you
Speak the peace you long to hear.
I will weep when you are weeping
When you laugh, I’ll laugh with you
I will share your joy and sorrow
Till we’ve seen this journey through.
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, October 12, 2015 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.