August 4, 2019: Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Catholic Social Teaching: Rights and Responsibilities
To adore God is to acknowledge, in respect and absolute submission, the “nothingness of the creature” who would not exist but for God. To adore God is to praise and exalt him and to humble oneself, as Mary did in the Magnificat, confessing with gratitude that he has done great things and holy is his name.14 The worship of the one God sets man free from turning in on himself, from the slavery of sin and the idolatry of the world.(2097) Catechism of the Catholic Church
First Reading: Ecclesiastes 1:2; 2:21-23
Psalm: 90 3-4, 5-6, 12-13
Second Reading: Colossians 3:1-5, 9-11
Gospel: Luke 12:13-21
Catechism of the Catholic Church
The beatitude we are promised confronts us with decisive moral choices. It invites us to purify our hearts of bad instincts and to seek the love of God above all else. It teaches us that true happiness is not found in riches or well-being, in human fame or power, or in any human achievement – however beneficial it may be – such as science, technology, and art, or indeed in any creature, but in God alone, the source of every good and of all love:
All bow down before wealth. Wealth is that to which the multitude of men pay an instinctive homage. They measure happiness by wealth; and by wealth they measure respectability. . . . It is a homage resulting from a profound faith . . . that with wealth he may do all things. Wealth is one idol of the day and notoriety is a second. . . . Notoriety, or the making of a noise in the world – it may be called “newspaper fame” – has come to be considered a great good in itself, and a ground of veneration. (1723) From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:
Jesus takes up the entire Old Testament tradition even with regard to economic goods, wealth and poverty, and he gives them great clarity and fullness (cf. Mt 6:24, 13:22; Lk 6:20-24, 12:15-21; Rom 14:6-8; 1 Tim 4:4). Through the gift of his Spirit and the conversion of hearts, he comes to establish the “Kingdom of God”, so that a new manner of social life is made possible, in justice, brotherhood, solidarity and sharing. The Kingdom inaugurated by Christ perfects the original goodness of the created order and of human activity, which were compromised by sin. Freed from evil and being placed once more in communion with God, man is able to continue the work of Jesus, with the help of his Spirit. In this, man is called to render justice to the poor, releasing the oppressed, consoling the afflicted, actively seeking a new social order in which adequate solutions to material poverty are offered and in which the forces thwarting the attempts of the weakest to free themselves from conditions of misery and slavery are more effectively controlled. When this happens, the Kingdom of God is already present on this earth, although it is not of the earth. It is in this Kingdom that the promises of the Prophets find final fulfillment. (325)
In the light of Revelation, economic activity is to be considered and undertaken as a grateful response to the vocation which God holds out for each person. Man is placed in the garden to till and keep it, making use of it within well specified limits (cf. Gen 2:16-17) with a commitment to perfecting it (cf. Gen 1:26-30, 2:15-16; Wis 9:2-3). Bearing witness to the grandeur and goodness of the Creator, he walks towards the fullness of freedom to which God calls him. Good administration of the gifts received, and of material goods also, is a work of justice towards oneself and towards others. What has been received should be used properly, preserved and increased, as suggested by the parable of the talents (cf. Mt 25:14-30; Lk 19:12-27).
Economic activity and material progress must be placed at the service of man and society. If people dedicate themselves to these with the faith, hope and love of Christ’s disciples, even the economy and progress can be transformed into places of salvation and sanctification. In these areas too it is possible to express a love and a solidarity that are more than human, and to contribute to the growth of a new humanity that anticipates the world to come. Jesus sums up all of revelation in calling the believer to become rich before God (cf. Lk 12:21). The economy too is useful to this end, when its function as an instrument for the overall growth of man and society, of the human quality of life, is not betrayed. (326)
“God shows no partiality” (Acts 10:34; cf. Rom 2:11; Gal 2:6; Eph 6:9), since all people have the same dignity as creatures made in his image and likeness. The Incarnation of the Son of God shows the equality of all people with regard to dignity: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:28; cf. Rom 10:12; 1 Cor 12:13, Col 3:11).
Since something of the glory of God shines on the face of every person, the dignity of every person before God is the basis of the dignity of man before other men. Moreover, this is the ultimate foundation of the radical equality and brotherhood among all people, regardless of their race, nation, sex, origin, culture, or class. (144)
The Lord Jesus is the prototype and foundation of the new humanity. In him, the true “likeness of God” (2 Cor 4:4), man — who is created in the image of God — finds his fulfilment. In the definitive witness of love that God has made manifest in the cross of Christ, all the barriers of enmity have already been torn down (cf. Eph 2:12-18), and for those who live a new life in Christ, racial and cultural differences are no longer causes of division (cf. Rom 10:12; Gal 3:26-28; Col 3:11).
Thanks to the Spirit, the Church is aware of the divine plan of unity that involves the entire human race (cf. Acts 17:26), a plan destined to reunite in the mystery of salvation wrought under the saving Lordship of Christ (cf. Eph 1:8-10) all of created reality, which is fragmented and scattered. From the day of Pentecost, when the Resurrection is announced to diverse peoples, each of whom understand it in their own language (cf. Acts 2:6), the Church fulfils her mission of restoring and bearing witness to the unity lost at Babel. Due to this ecclesial ministry, the human family is called to rediscover its unity and recognize the richness of its differences, in order to attain “full unity in Christ”. (431)
For complete text visit: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/justpeace/documents/rc_pc_justpeace_doc_20060526_compendio-dott-soc_en.html
What distracts us from God is idolatry. Not necessarily material items, the status symbols of prestige and wealth, but also emotions that separate one from God. A deviation from trusting God first renders the feeling into the status of an idol. Classic expressions of fear from failure to achieve at a high level of satisfaction and prestige leading to being unaccepted makes striving for success rooted in personal goals idolatry. Of having material possessions and not being able to freely give to others in need, the letting go of what is really God’s, makes possessions idols instead of placing the will of God first. When lives become rooted in toil, vanity dominates, but what really lasts is the question to ponder. All possessions exist with finite use and ownership. All emotions in time cease to be relevant, for our ultimate existence is only truly defined by our relationship to God. Hardened hearts loosing the elasticity for love of God become molded by clasping to possessions. We must number our days aright with the gracious care of the Lord to prosper the work of our hands and mind for His glory. To be filled with kindness, joy and gladness all our days to seek with priority what is above and imperishable. The elimination of greed, impurity, immorality and evil desires to renew ourselves in the image of the Creator. To realize the goodness inherent in all people and not grasp to idolatry of ethnicity or social status as perceived by society. Checking a bank account, portfolio or balance sheet may lure one into feeling rich and the feeling to take it easy, eat, drink and be merry from a bountiful harvest of assets. But that is only a facade of security which quickly can evaporate or is left behind at death. As Jesus reminded the voice in the crowd, one’s life does not consist of possessions. Our true wealth is faith and attachment to anything else is idolatry. Each day we must live as we own nothing for the freedom of detachment to place our dependance totally on God.
Individual Reflection: Psalm 90:3-4, 5-6, 12-13
What emotion is idolatry for you?
Family Reflection: Colossians 3:1-5, 9-11
Where do you see greed in the world? How can the family counteract greed?
Prayer: August 6th is the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord. Reflect on Pope Francis’ comments
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 30, 2019 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.