April 7, 2019:Fifth Sunday of Lent
Catholic Social Teaching: Solidarity
Prayer for Peace and Forgiveness
We confess that in our lives we do not
Always choose the way of peace.
We spread gossip which fans the flame of hatred.
We are ready to make any sacrifices when Caesar demands –
but few when God invites.
We worship the false god of security and nationalism
We hold out our hand in friendship –
But keep a weapon in the other behind our back
We have divided your body of people
Into those we trust and those we do not.
Huge problems challenge us in the world –
But our greed, fear and selfishness prevent
us from uniting to solve them
Lord, we pray for your help,
Your forgiveness and your
Reconciling power in our lives.
First Reading: Isaiah 43:16-21
Psalm: 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6
Second Reading: Philippians 3:8-14
Catechism of the Catholic Church
It is precisely in the Passion, when the mercy of Christ is about to vanquish it, that sin most clearly manifests its violence and its many forms: unbelief, murderous hatred, shunning and mockery by the leaders and the people, Pilate’s cowardice and the cruelty of the soldiers, Judas’ betrayal – so bitter to Jesus, Peter’s denial and the disciples’ flight. However, at the very hour of darkness, the hour of the prince of this world, The sacrifice of Christ secretly becomes the source from which the forgiveness of our sins will pour forth inexhaustibly. (1851) From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Fifth Sunday of Lent, Cycle C
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church: No references this week
God makes a way in seemingly impossible situations, defined, envisioned in human terms, to move forward in a newness of life. He places unexpected well springs in the most parched environs to give live to the sojourners. With a God like that, our experiences should render us announcing praise in exclamation of the vitality of life He invites us into. A praise in acclamation of our primacy towards God and knowing Christ Jesus as Lord over the frivolity of fleeting possessions that can be trashed in a second into uselessness. Rubbish or excrement from Greek translation define their true nature, so holding on emotionally or possessively to let possessions define our nature is a detriment or nuisance from treasuring God first and foremost.
To fathom righteousness is a realization it eminates from God. For our inherent humanity ebbs and flows among the Law and letter of the Law until faith awakens our transformation thru grace. From the power of the resurrection, we grasp to ground us in the great things the Lord has done for us and are filled with joy. For we cease clinging to the past and look forward to what lies ahead in defining who we are and what we do on earth and for eternity.
As a bridge injected in around third century manuscripts, the exchange between Jesus and the women caught in adultery codicils the relationship between God and His Son. When trapped between denying the Laws of Moses and encroachment by the Scribes and Pharisees using a women as a pawn in their guise to accuse Jesus of heretical theology, Jesus continued HIs teaching not missing a beat from the interruption. He used the moment to highlight why the Father sent Him. The Law could judge, condemn, keep people in bondage to sin, never rectifiable, but Jesus offers salvation.
Jesus never asked where the other party to the iniquity was, lecture the religious orders or endorse the death sentence on the woman. An initial response of silence to make those assembled in a triad for justice reflect on their lack of compliance to the Law, to eventually utter a death defying challenge—-only those without sin could throw the first stone at the woman. Jesus was the only person in attendance who could have thrown the first stone, but He opted to act like His Father. Realizing they were not God and fell short of the Law, everyone departed except Jesus and the woman. Leaving them in a conversation in violation of the Law, a man and woman talking in public together, an unholy dialogue for the times. He invited her to not look at her past. But accept Divine mercy and move forward in a newness of life. An invitation to be receptive of God’s righteousness in challenges, when persecuted, made a scapegoat or the daily nuances of life to not dwell on out inadequacies but trust the mercy of God we have gained and found in Christ.
In the day, hate equated murder for it severed the dignity of the individual, in a society woven with tight bands of communal cohesiveness, to despicable abandonment. Words of condemnation, accusation leveling irrevocable divides all throw stones on the Father’s will and Jesu’ words that we all be One.
We must not be drawn into the frenzy instigating scapegoats to condemn one or a sector perceived as one making them an example when societally we all render injustices. Instead of making one stand alone, let us invite the one, other to stand with us so we may among the ostriches, jackets and all creation live knowing we are forgiven, not condemned and extolled to live on the roots and eternal goals of our salvation. A time to disarm from throwing stones and the associated violence to encourage and support each other on the journey of life.
Individual Reflection:Isaiah 43:16-21
Work to encourage elimination of the death penalty in America.
Family Reflection:Philippians 3:8-14
Celebrate Easter by placing a Peace Pole in your yard, at your parish or school. Select languages on the Peace Pole reflecting your ancestral heritage or cultures in your parish or school communities.
Reflect what Jesus was writing on the ground with His finger. Tradition suggested it might have been Jeremiah 17:13. What might you have been writing it you were in that assembly?
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 1, 2019 (04/07/2007) The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.