January 24, 2021: Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Catholic Social Teaching: Call to Family Community and Participation
Let us pause a moment on this experience of meeting Christ who calls us to remain with Him. Each one of God’s calls is an initiative of His love. He is the one who always takes the initiative. He calls you. God calls to life, He calls to faith, and He calls to a particular state in life: “I want you here”. God’s first call is to life, through which He makes us persons; it is an individual call because God does not make things in series. Then God calls us to faith and to become part of His family as children of God. Lastly, God calls us to a particular state in life: to give of ourselves on the path of matrimony, or that of the priesthood or the consecrated life. They are different ways of realizing God’s design that He has for each one of us that is always a design of love. But God calls always. And the greatest joy for every believer is to respond to that call, offering one’s entire being to the service of God and the brothers and sisters. Pope Francis Angelus January 17, 2021
First Reading: Jonah 3:1-5, 10
Psalm: 25: 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
Second Reading: 1st Corinthians 7:29-31
Gospel: Mark 1:14-20
Catechism of the Catholic Church
All Christ’s faithful are to “direct their affections rightly, lest they be hindered in their pursuit of perfect charity by the use of worldly things and by an adherence to riches which is contrary to the spirit of evangelical poverty.” (2545) From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:
The Church, the community of those who have been brought together by the Risen Christ and who have set out to follow him, is “the sign and the safeguard of the transcendent dimension of the human person”. She is “in Christ a kind of sacrament — a sign and instrument, that is, of communion with God and of unity among all men”. Her mission is that of proclaiming and communicating the salvation wrought in Jesus Christ, which he calls “the Kingdom of God” (Mk 1:15), that is, communion with God and among men. The goal of salvation, the Kingdom of God embraces all people and is fully realized beyond history, in God. The Church has received “the mission of proclaiming and establishing among all peoples the Kingdom of Christ and of God, and she is, on earth, the seed and the beginning of that Kingdom”. (49)
1st Corinthians 7:31
The human person cannot and must not be manipulated by social, economic or political structures, because every person has the freedom to direct himself towards his ultimate end. On the other hand, every cultural, social, economic and political accomplishment, in which the social nature of the person and his activity of transforming the universe are brought about in history, must always be considered also in the context of its relative and provisional reality, because “the form of this world is passing away” (1 Cor 7:31). We can speak here of an eschatological relativity, in the sense that man and the world are moving towards their end, which is the fulfillment of their destiny in God; we can also speak of a theological relativity, insofar as the gift of God, by which the definitive destiny of humanity and of creation will be attained, is infinitely greater than human possibilities and expectations. Any totalitarian vision of society and the State, and any purely intra-worldly ideology of progress are contrary to the integral truth of the human person and to God’s plan in history. (48)
The awareness that “the form of this world is passing away” (1 Cor 7:31) is not an exoneration from being involved in the world, and even less from work (cf. 2 Thes 3:7-15), which is an integral part of the human condition, although not the only purpose of life. No Christian, in light of the fact that he belongs to a united and fraternal community, should feel that he has the right not to work and to live at the expense of others (cf. 2 Thes 3:6-12). Rather, all are charged by the Apostle Paul to make it a point of honour to work with their own hands, so as to “be dependent on nobody” (1 Thes 4:12), and to practise a solidarity which is also material by sharing the fruits of their labour with “those in need” (Eph 4:28). Saint James defends the trampled rights of workers: “Behold, the wages of the labourers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts” (Jas 5:4). Believers are to undertake their work in the style of Christ and make it an occasion for Christian witness, commanding “the respect of outsiders” (1 Thes 4:12). (264)
Jesus asks us to repent, as He asked the first disciples. How do you understand repentance? An understanding framed by our perception of God. Empowering or oppressive paradigms to liberate or shove into submission. Repentance literally expresses dedication of oneself to amendment of one’s life. A change of one’s mind and heart with a desire to partake in fulfillment of God’s promise. To view repentance not as a specific point in time at a particular place, but continually evolving understanding of God’s desire for our participation in God’s kingdom. The synergy of God’s will fulfilled in the unfolding of humanity’s collaboration. In a culture when people sought out sages to study under, Jesus unraveled searching with an invitation to depose professional livelihood to seek the core of what matters. Had the initial disciples ever discerned the meaning of their lives or just repetitively hauled fish in and out of the boats? What was the magnetism of Jesus’ persuasion to in an instant they leave the security and sensibility of the world behind? Just as their nets were tattered and torn and in need of mending, so were their lives Casting nets into the sea was never a certainty and something in the despair of ministry the disciples would return to, a lingering grasp to the past but never the ultimate fulfillment. For the Lord would teach them and teaches us His ways. Not an indoctrination, dragging along into submission, but guiding to the truth where the awareness of sin is not condemnation but liberation with the sincerity of our repentance. A process where humility blossoms from seeing Divine providence guide our experiences, in a foundational and strategic matrix to assure us of a journey to justice beyond the work of our own endeavors. The need to rebound from questioning like Jonah and take out for wherever the Lord sends us to do His bidding. We may seem like fish out of water in the immensity of the challenge, but our actions and proclamations are not without impact when we focus on what message the Lord asks us to share. A voice of persuasion not with human eloquence, but substance infused by the Spirit. Where people heed, pause and reflect to perpetuate the Divine cycle of repentance leads to fostering belief. Not the need personally to cover every byway, but letting the actions of the Spirit magnify our human endeavors. Our failure to participate rests as an expression of our unbelief, a lack of trust in God’s guidance, a dismissal of hope, an unwillingness to live as a disciple and instead just exist in repetitive motions of what ever proverbial fish we haul in and take out of our boats.
The world we know a day ago, a week ago, a month ago, a year ago, a decade ago is not the same world as today. Grasping that reality, in the continual passing of the old we receptively experience the newness of life Jesus invites us to. To not dig deeper ruts from spinning futilely in the same place, but embrace the ever emerging path Jesus teaches us to follow, for He is our Savior. Will we live like He is?
January 27th is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. As we remember the Holocaust, may we be cognizant of people victimized today and not watch their plight in complicity of silence
Family Reflection: Mark 1:14-20
January is Poverty Awareness Month. Learn how poverty disproportionately impacts the elderly and how can your family help address these issues?
January 25th is the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul. Prayerfully reflect in thanksgiving about your conversion. How has your repentance called you to be a disciple?
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 January 21, 2021 St Agnes Pray for us The reflection maybe used i