May 14, 2017: Fifth Sunday of Easter
Catholic Social Teaching: Rights and Responsibilities
[W]e all must strip ourselves of this worldliness: the spirit opposing the spirit Beatitudes, the spirit opposing the spirit of Jesus. Worldliness hurts us. It is so very sad to find a worldly Christian, sure — according to him — of that security that the faith gives and of the security that the world provides. You cannot be on both sides. The Church — all of us — must strip herself of the worldliness that leads to vanity, to pride, that is idolatry. (Pope Francis Quote10/4/13) From USCCB Pope Francis Quotes:
First Reading: Acts 6:1-7
Psalm: 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19
Second Reading: 1st Peter 2:4-9
Gospel: John 14:1-12
Catechism of the Catholic Church
Christ, high priest and unique mediator, has made of the Church “a kingdom, priests for his God and Father.” The whole community of believers is, as such, priestly. The faithful exercise their baptismal priesthood through their participation, each according to his own vocation, in Christ’s mission as priest, prophet, and king. Through the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation the faithful are “consecrated to be . . . a holy priesthood.” (1546) From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Fifth Sunday of Easter, Cycle A
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:
The Church moves further into the Third Millennium of the Christian era as a pilgrim people, guided by Christ, the “great Shepherd” (Heb 13:20). He is the “Holy Door” (cf. Jn 10:9) through which we passed during the Great Jubilee of the year 2000. Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life (cf. Jn 14:6): contemplating the Lord’s face, we confirm our faith and our hope in him, the one Saviour and goal of history.
The Church continues to speak to all people and all nations, for it is only in the name of Christ that salvation is given to men and women. Salvation, which the Lord Jesus obtained “at a price” (1 Cor 6:20; cf. 1 Pet 1:18-19), is achieved in the new life that awaits the righteous after death, but it also permeates this world in the realities of the economy and labour, of technology and communications, of society and politics, of the international community and the relations among cultures and peoples. “Jesus came to bring integral salvation, one which embraces the whole person and all mankind, and opens up the wondrous prospect of divine filiation”. (1)
Fostering a social and political culture inspired by the Gospel must be an area of particular importance for the lay faithful. Recent history has shown the weakness and radical failure of commonly held cultural perspectives that prevailed for a long time, especially on the social and political levels. In this area, particularly in the decades following the Second World War, Catholics in different countries have been involved at high levels, which shows with ever greater clarity today the consistency of their inspiration and of their heritage of values. The social and political involvement of Catholics, in fact, has never been limited to the mere transformation of structures, because this involvement takes place at the foundations of a culture that receives and listens to the reasoning made by faith and morality, including them as the basis and goal of concrete planning. When this awareness is lacking, Catholics themselves are condemned to cultural dispersion and their proposals are rendered insufficient and limited. An urgent priority today is also found in the need to present the patrimony of Catholic tradition, its values and content, and the entire spiritual, intellectual and moral heritage of Catholicism, in culturally up-to-date terms. Faith in Jesus Christ, who described himself as “the way and the truth and the life” (Jn 14:6), prompts Christians to commit themselves with firm and ever new resolve to building a social and political culture inspired by the Gospel. (555)
The benevolence and mercy that inspire God’s actions and provide the key for understanding them become so very much closer to man that they take on the traits of the man Jesus, the Word made flesh. In the Gospel of Saint Luke, Jesus describes his messianic ministry with the words of Isaiah which recall the prophetic significance of the jubilee: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord” (Lk 4:18-19; cf. Is 61:1-2). Jesus therefore places himself on the frontline of fulfilment, not only because he fulfils what was promised and what was awaited by Israel, but also in the deeper sense that in him the decisive event of the history of God with mankind is fulfilled. He proclaims: “He who has seen me has seen the Father” (Jn 14:9). Jesus, in other words, is the tangible and definitive manifestation of how God acts towards men and women. (28)
How do we define our mission of faith? Our individual faith journey, our parishes, our dioceses, our universal Church do we seek a balance between expressing prayer, articulating the Word of God and service? A trinitarian approach in worshipping our Trinitarian God that increased the number of disciples in the early church. But do we incorporate a balance of prayer, the Word and service today? Can we become fixated on one component, trivializing the importance of the others? Jesus modeled the importance of the three components and we should let them mold our faith today. Strengthened by prayer, nurtured and inspired by the Word, we become attentive of ways to offer loving service within our parishes and beyond to the greater community. Then we become living stones building a spiritual house, the Kingdom of God, with Jesus as the cornerstone. Drawn forth form the shelter of our dismal and dark caves of self-pity, judgment and fear, we roll forth into the light. Stones of many sizes and shapes, but perfectly crafted by the Creator, so they fit into their unique place. Each with a unique task that will be manifest with attentiveness to prayer, the Word and service, Each formed with a distinctive composition. The softness of sandstone, freely crumbling to mortar stones together. The porosity of lava to let living water refreshing flow thru them and share the refreshment with others. The hardness of quartz to define issues and issue a call for justice. Each stone complementing each other. Each stone precious in God’s sight, should be affirmed, welcomed and included by the other stones. For if one stone is ignored, marginalized and dismissed, the spiritual house’s integrity is compromised, endangering the viability of the other stones. We must have faith about our role as a unique stone, realizing our Father has prepared many dwelling places for all His unique stones, now and in our eternal home, that we will know through following Jesus who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. That belief strengthens us to the works of Jesus and even greater ones, since He now abides with the Father.
Individual Reflection:1st Peter:2:4-9
What type of unique stone are you? How do you struggle to be your unique stone God has created? Live this week accentuating the unique stone you are.
Family Reflection: John 14:1-12
The history of Mother’s Day is rooted in peace. How can your family claim the original intention of Mother’s Day in your family, parish and community?
History of Mother’s Day: http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/mothers-day
As Jesus sought the quiet of the desert,
teach us to pray.
As Jesus washed the feet of his disciples,
teach us to love.
As Jesus promised paradise to the thief on the cross,
teach us to hope.
As Jesus called Peter to walk to him across the water,
teach us to believe.
As the child Jesus sat among the elders in the temple,
teach us to seek answers.
As Jesus in the garden opened his mind and heart to God’s will,
teach us to listen.
As Jesus reflected on the Law and the prophets,
teach us to learn.
As Jesus used parables to reveal the mysteries of the Kingdom,
teach us to teach.
~from Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers
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 April 27, 2017 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.