October 21, 2018: Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Catholic Social Teaching: Solidarity
Solidarity highlights in a particular way the intrinsic social nature of the human person, the equality of all in dignity and rights and the common path of individuals and peoples towards an ever more committed unity. Never before has there been such a widespread awareness of the bond of interdependence between individuals and peoples, which is found at every level. The very rapid expansion in ways and means of communication “in real time”, such as those offered by information technology, the extraordinary advances in computer technology, the increased volume of commerce and information exchange all bear witness to the fact that, for the first time since the beginning of human history, it is now possible — at least technically — to establish relationships between people who are separated by great distances and are unknown to each other.
In the presence of the phenomenon of interdependence and its constant expansion, however, there persist in every part of the world stark inequalities between developed and developing countries, inequalities stoked also by various forms of exploitation, oppression and corruption that have a negative influence on the internal and international life of many States. The acceleration of interdependence between persons and peoples needs to be accompanied by equally intense efforts on the ethical-social plane, in order to avoid the dangerous consequences of perpetrating injustice on a global scale. This would have very negative repercussions even in the very countries that are presently more advantaged. (192) Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
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 Mark 10:42 Mark 10:45
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. Lk 22:25), 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 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[ 415] 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)
Famine an extreme scarcity of food, a great shortage. Physical dryness of the earth, parching the land from blossoming forth. Withering brought forth from lack of nourishment. Spiritual emptiness from not hoping in the Lord’s kindness and realizing his eyes are upon them. Only perseverance delivers from spiritual death, as we hold fast to our confession of Jesus, as the Son of God who sympathizes with our weakness. Tested in every way, except sin, we commiserate to approach the throne of grace. A journey of mercy not in the next era, decade or century, but timely as our soul waits attentively for the Lord. Not with a blank check to do whatever we ask for, since in compassions Jesus jogs our conscience to help us ascertain the reality of our request. Realizing the new birth inherent in our baptism to die and rise with Christ, we cannot become indigent to the mission of faith. We learn to be servants, not lording over family, friends, ministries or humanity. That does not mean we do not express our concerns, speak of injustices or become organizers, for in those capacities we serve not our own interests but the collective good. In Matthew, the mother of James and John acted as an intermediary to request honor for her sons. James and John spoke for themselves in Mark, asking Jesus directly to sit at his right and left. In their bidding they request status, but they personally acclaim the Lord’s glory. Do we refrain from doing our bidding with the Lord, of personally asking Jesus out of feeling of our inadequacies and unworthiness? If we offer petitions with the mindset of servants, we experience a transformation of our relationship with Jesus. We mold our lives to the mission of Jesus and acclaim his glory by the transformation we seek in our own lives, society and our Church.
Individual Reflection: Psalm 33:4-5, 18-19, 20,21
Gather a group at your parish to do Just Faith’s program Hunger for Change that was a collaboration with Bread for the World: https://justfaith.org/hunger-for-change/
Family Reflection: Mark 10:35-45
What actions will the family take this week to be servants? Discuss how being a servant includes speaking about concerns and injustice to be a servant for those without a voice, to sometimes become a leader.
Prayer: Pray the Litany for Liberty that we might become servants
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 October 16, 2018 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.