August 27, 2017: Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
Catholic Social Teaching: Solidarity
The new relationships of interdependence between individuals and peoples, which are de 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)
First Reading: Isaiah 22:19-23
Psalm: 138:1-2, 2-3, 6, 8
Second Reading: Romans 11:33-36
Gospel: Matthew 16:13-20
Catechism of the Catholic Church
The Lord made Simon alone, whom he named Peter, the “rock” of his Church. He gave him the keys of his Church and instituted him shepherd of the whole flock. “The office of binding and loosing which was given to Peter was also assigned to the college of apostles united to its head.”401 This pastoral office of Peter and the other apostles belongs to the Church’s very foundation and is continued by the bishops under the primacy of the Pope. (881)
From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church: No references this week
For complete text visit: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/justpeace/documents/rc_pc_justpeace_doc_20060526_compendio-dott-soc_en.html
Jesus did not appoint a leader with a Pharisee mentality, clerical rigidity or a person with more letters after their name from advanced degrees than in their given name. Peter, a fisherman, a man used to getting his hands dirty with physical labor. Mary Magdalene appointed to announce the resurrection to humanity, amidst her past challenges, but her heart maintained fidelity to the Lord at the foot of the cross and seeking the Lord at the tomb while others hid in fear. People that others might describe as “characters”, Jesus appointed to lead, preach and share the Good New.
Who leads at your parish today? Are they going through the motion of offering sacramental grace without heart felt compassion, more concerned with rubrics than reality of the good the Good News could impart in the world? Do attempts by people at the parish to get their hands dirty by addressing social concerns in the community get rebuffed by disdained opposition prioritizing their perceived holy endeavors to the exclusion of all the Good News the Church has stockpiled in centuries of tradition?
Where does preaching the Good News by ALL members of the faith community cease to be a reality? Women denied access to the altar, people excluded from educational opportunity, the young told to wait in line for their turn and time, people of color underrepresented to share their experiences, the homeless excluded for carrying too much baggage literally and figuratively. Have more people been excluded than included? Does grabbing the air, never grasping the brass ring on a carousel provide a metaphor of the reality faced by voices excluded in our Church?
In faith the reciprocity of giving thanks to God because of His kindness and truth builds up strength within us. Affirming kindness and truth, a blessing we receive in faith and gift in our lives to others by our forthrightness and generosity of speech and actions. A process building up strength within us for we can’t waiver with dual persona to fit the moment but rest steadfast in the bedrock of fidelity to the Divine paradigm. May this strength bolster the courage for voices silenced from preaching the Good News in our Church to dismantle walls of exclusivity harboring special interests that sequester God’s mercy for a few deemed worthy only in human eyes.
Individual Reflection: Matthew 16:13-20
Be a leader in your community and parish. Start a petition drive to address a need, the invisible or an injustice. Offer a positive solution and be willing to help initiate the change, just don’t complain!
Family Reflection: Isaiah 22:19-23
Does you family place more honor towards your individual family than the human family? Discuss this question during the week to look at ways to emphasize the importance of your personal family and stand in solidarity with the human family.
Prayer: Collect for the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time
O God, who cause the minds of the faithful to unite in a single purpose, grant your people to love what you command and to desire what you promise, that amid the uncertainties of this world, our hearts maybe fixed on that place where true gladness is found. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
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 August 21, 2017 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.