July 23, 2017:Sixteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Catholic Social Teaching: Care for Creation
Citation from the Gospel reading for the Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time:
The Lord was able to invite others to be attentive to the beauty that there is in the world because he himself was in constant touch with nature, lending it an attention full of fondness and wonder. As he made his way throughout the land, he often stopped to contemplate the beauty sown by his Father, and invited his disciples to perceive a divine message in things: “Lift up your eyes, and see how the fields are already white for harvest” (Jn 4:35). “The kingdom of God is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all seeds, but once it has grown, it is the greatest of plants” (Mt 13:31-32). (97) Laudato Si
First Reading: Wisdom 12:13, 16-19
Psalm: 86:5-6, 9-10, 15-16
Second Reading: Romans 8:26-27
Gospel: Matthew 13:24-43
Catechism of the Catholic Church
The truth that God is at work in all the actions of his creatures is inseparable from faith in God the Creator. God is the first cause who operates in and through secondary causes: “For God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” Far from diminishing the creature’s dignity, this truth enhances it. Drawn from nothingness by God’s power, wisdom and goodness, it can do nothing if it is cut off from its origin, for “without a Creator the creature vanishes.” Still less can a creature attain its ultimate end without the help of God’s grace. (308) From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the, Sixteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time Cycle A
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:
With the unceasing amazement of those who have experienced the inexpressible love of God (cf. Rom 8:26), the New Testament grasps, in the light of the full revelation of Trinitarian love offered by the Passover of Jesus Christ, the ultimate meaning of the Incarnation of the Son and his mission among men and women. Saint Paul writes: “If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, will he not also give us all things with him?” (Rom 8:31-32). Similar language is used also by Saint John: “In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins” (1 Jn 4:10). (30)
Following God’s ways we seek justice supported not by authority, power laden decrees, but kindness. A kindness cloaked with clemency. For justice inflicting wrath never produces an end result desirable by God. True justice permits repentance and forgives offenseable acts for a win/win conclusion allowing all to move forward from the balm of a healing environment of reconciliation. As God desires all to journey with Him, He imparts understanding leniency for all. A display of might to shatter disbelief into a collage of tiny mirrors radiating God’s love and encouraging reckless actions to cease. Will we error towards leniency or hunker down ready to pounce with the perceived strength of our authority to bring others into compliance with our mandates? Grounded in prayer will allow the Spirit to come to the assistance of our weakness if we harbor unbelief in the true power of leniency and kindness to harken the Kingdom of God, where we are good seeds sprouting among weeds. Rooted along with the weeds, we share the same soil, nutrients, rain and sunshine, so we must have an affinity for weeds among the grains of wheat. As they live in our neighborhood, blow in the same wind, will we be slow in anger to their frailties, as we look at our missteps too? Will we listen to their struggles to grow without cutting them short with condemnation for having a different DNA (Divine Not Acknowledged) perspective than ours (Divine Never Abandons)? To change a weed to a good seed, we must acknowledge the value of the weed, find it a purpose, so it no longer exists as a perceived nuisance, but a blessed part of creation. We must be leaven in the fields of life. Mix ourselves into the activities not retreat into a cave and peer out in horror, disbelief of what is happening, and in the process deny ourselves the light and nutrients of the field. For retrenchment means we have lost hope, we fear the weeds, viewing them not as companions in the field seeking common ground, and shared experiences. We hinder our God-given potential and cease to blossom into robust grains of wheat. Only with vitality from being fed by the field, we express the mandates of God’s kingdom with leniency, kindness and clemency for all.
Individual Reflection: Wisdom 12:13, 16-19
July 25th is the feast day of St James, the Apostle. Read the Letter of St James in the New Testament. What five practicalities do you garner from his writing to apply to your faith life? Share those with five people this week.
Family Reflection: Psalm 86:5-6, 9-10, 15-16
July 29th is the Memorial of St Martha. As friends of Jesus with her sister Mary and brother Lazarus, they provided hospitality. How can your family provide hospitality to people?
The first reading for the Feast of St James is 2nd Corinthians 4:7-15. Reflect on these words and make it a prayer for your faith journey.
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 July 17, 2017 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.