March 29, 2020: Fifth Sunday of Lent
Catholic Social Teaching: All seven themes
View the USCCB and CRS videos and resources on all Catholic Social Teaching Themes
First Reading: Ezekiel 37:12-14
Psalm: 130:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8
Second Reading: Romans 8:8-11
Gospel: John 11:1-45
Catechism of the Catholic Church
Christ will raise us up “on the last day”; but it is also true that, in a certain way, we have already risen with Christ. For, by virtue of the Holy Spirit, Christian life is already now on earth a participation in the death and Resurrection of Christ:
And you were buried with him in Baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead . . . . If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. (1002) From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Fifth Sunday of Lent, Cycle A
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:
Romans Chapter 8
The salvation offered in its fullness to men in Jesus Christ by God the Father’s initiative, and brought about and transmitted by the work of the Holy Spirit, is salvation for all people and of the whole person: it is universal and integral salvation. It concerns the human person in all his dimensions: personal and social, spiritual and corporeal, historical and transcendent. It begins to be made a reality already in history, because what is created is good and willed by God, and because the Son of God became one of us. Its completion, however, is in the future, when we shall be called, together with all creation (cf. Rom 8), to share in Christ’s resurrection and in the eternal communion of life with the Father in the joy of the Holy Spirit. This outlook shows quite clearly the error and deception of purely immanentistic visions of the meaning of history and in humanity’s claims to self-salvation. (38)
In her social doctrine the Church offers above all an integral vision of man and a complete understanding of his personal and social dimensions. Christian anthropology reveals the inviolable dignity of every person and places the realities of work, economics and politics into an original perspective that sheds light on authentic human values while at the same time inspiring and sustaining the task of Christian witness in the varied areas of personal, cultural and social life. Thanks to the “first fruits of the Spirit” (Rom 8:23), Christians become “capable of discharging the new law of love (cf. Rom 8:1-11). Through this Spirit, who is ‘the pledge of our inheritance’ (Eph 1:14), the whole man is renewed from within, even to the achievement of ‘the redemption of the body’ (Rom 8:23)”. In this sense the Church’s social doctrine shows how the moral basis of all social action consists in the human development of the person and identifies the norm for social action corresponding to humanity’s true good and as efforts aimed at creating the conditions that will allow every person to satisfy his integral vocation. (522)
What caves have we entered seeking security, exploring unknown territories of false pretenses or acting on a whim? A cave maybe ending up entombing us with fear, despair, afraid to venture forth to the Truth. Dragging stones across its entrance, we further distance a view of the reality of the world. The self-imposed confines of the cave prioritizes personal preferences over Divine insights that could lead us more resolutely to the glory of God. The need to tug on a friend’s conscience to believe, to journey in unfavorable territory. What seems to express as darkness requires a refocusing of spiritual acuity to see the light in this world and avoid stumbling from the experience of dwelling in caves, what ever their manifestation. The experience of resurrection from so many deaths to self that need to be left in the cave and spring forth to arise to the voice of Jesus to come out and join Him in living life. To set aside trivialities may seem petty and a short distance of thought interspersed with conversations questioning in human eloquence, but lacking spiritual clarity leading to weeping by all concerned. But the power of prayer raises our hearts and minds to the infused reality of God, expressing our belief, our oneness with God who is infinite and we shed our trust in anything else that is finite. In that moment, we shed proverbial cloth hindering our view, veiling our face from seeing God in everything and everyone we encounter to believe. Being in the flesh we cannot please God. For only when we are in the Spirit as the Spirit of God dwells in us, Christ is with us so we have life from the One who raised Christ from the dead. It is promised and in faith we believe, for with the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.
Share John August Swanson’s reflection paragraph on Take Away the Stone with ten friends.
While social distancing and remaining at home, take time as a family to view a daily livestream mass in addition to watching a livestream Sunday liturgy. Check your diocesan website or here’s some suggestions:
8:15 AM PST Monday thru Saturday (Also have been having adoration livestream today, which would be nice for family quiet time together)
12:10PM PST Monday thru Friday
God gives us eyes to see your unfolding glory. Keep our feet on the path to follow your Son. Make our hands always ready to move stones impeding justice. Help our hearts to deeply ponder questions of faith. Let our souls relish in resurrection, as we die to iniquities and mercy abounds. Thank you for the gift of faith, belief beyond words, hope to transform, that we may live. In Jesus’ dear name,
From John August Swanson’s website on the raising of Lazarus: http://johnaugustswanson.com/default.cfm/PID%3D1.2-19.html
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 March 26, 2020 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.