June 25, 2017: Twelfth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Catholic Social Teaching: Call to Family, Community and Participation
Christian hope lends great energy to commitment in the social field, because it generates confidence in the possibility of building a better world, even if there will never exist “a paradise of earth” Christians, particularly the laity, are urged to act in such a way that “the power of the Gospel might shine forth in their daily social and family life. They conduct themselves as children of the promise and thus strong in faith and hope they make the most of the present (cf. Eph 5:16; Col 4:5), and with patience await the glory that is to come (cf. Rom 8:25). Let them not, then, hide this hope in the depths of their hearts, but let them express it by a continual conversion and by wrestling ‘against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness’ (Eph 6:12)”. The religious motivation behind such a commitment may not be shared by all, but the moral convictions that arise from it represent a point of encounter between Christians and all people of good will. (579) Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
First Reading: Jeremiah 20:10-13
Psalm: 69:8-10, 14.17, 33-35
Second Reading: Romans 5:12-15
Gospel: Matthew 10:26-33
Catechism of the Catholic Church
It is then we must turn to the witnesses of faith: to Abraham, who “in hope. . . believed against hope”; to the Virgin Mary, who, in “her pilgrimage of faith”, walked into the “night of faith” in sharing the darkness of her son’s suffering and death; and to so many others: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.” (165)
From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the,Twelfth Sunday of Ordinary Time Cycle A
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:
Romans chapters 15-17
The salvation offered by God to his children requires their free response and acceptance. It is in this that faith consists, and it is through this that “man freely commits his entire self to God” responding to God’s prior and superabundant love (cf. 1 Jn 4:10) with concrete love for his brothers and sisters, and with steadfast hope because “he who promised is faithful” (Heb 10:23). In fact, the divine plan of salvation does not consign human creatures to a state of mere passivity or of lesser status in relation to their Creator, because their relationship to God, whom Jesus Christ reveals to us and in whom he freely makes us sharers by the working of the Holy Spirit, is that of a child to its parent: the very relationship that Jesus lives with the Father (cf. Jn 15-17; Gal 4:6-7). (39)
The immediate purpose of the Church’s social doctrine is to propose the principles and values that can sustain a society worthy of the human person. Among these principles, solidarity includes all the others in a certain way. It represents “one of the fundamental principles of the Christian view of social and political organization”.
Light is shed on this principle by the primacy of love, “the distinguishing mark of Christ’s disciples (cf. Jn 13:35)” Jesus teaches us that “the fundamental law of human perfection, and consequently of the transformation of the world, is the new commandment of love” (cf. Mt 22:40, Jn 15:12; Col 3:14; Jas 2:8). Personal behaviour is fully human when it is born of love, manifests love and is ordered to love. This truth also applies in the social sphere; Christians must be deeply convinced witnesses of this, and they are to show by their lives how love is the only force (cf. 1 Cor 12:31-14:1) that can lead to personal and social perfection, allowing society to make progress towards the good. (580)
This document is an act of service on the part of the Church to the women and men of our time, to whom she offers the legacy of her social doctrine, according to that style of dialogue by which God himself, in his only-begotten Son made man, “addresses men as his friends (cf. Ex 33:11; Jn 15:14-15) and moves among them (cf. Bar 3:38)”. Drawing inspiration from the Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes, this document too places “man considered whole and entire, with body and soul, heart and conscience, mind and will” as the key to its whole exposition. In this perspective, the Church is “inspired by no earthly ambition and seeks but one solitary goal: to carry forward the work of Christ himself under the lead of the befriending Spirit. For Christ entered this world to bear witness to the truth, to save and not to sit in judgment, to serve and not to be served”. (13)
The love that inspires Jesus’ ministry among men is the love that he has experienced in his intimate union with the Father. The New Testament allows us to enter deeply into the experience, that Jesus himself lives and communicates, the love of God his Father — “Abba” — and, therefore, it permits us to enter into the very heart of divine life. Jesus announces the liberating mercy of God to those whom he meets on his way, beginning with the poor, the marginalized, the sinners. He invites all to follow him because he is the first to obey God’s plan of love, and he does so in a most singular way, as God’s envoy in the world.
Jesus’ self-awareness of being the Son is an expression of this primordial experience. The Son has been given everything, and freely so, by the Father: “All that the Father has is mine” (Jn 16:15). His in turn is the mission of making all men sharers in this gift and in this filial relationship: “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you” (Jn 15:15).
For Jesus, recognizing the Father’s love means modeling his actions on God’s gratuitousness and mercy; it is these that generate new life. It means becoming — by his very existence — the example and pattern of this for his disciples. Jesus’ followers are called to live like him and, after his Passover of death and resurrection, to live also in him and by him, thanks to the superabundant gift of the Holy Spirit, the Consoler, who internalizes Christ’s own style of life in human hearts. (29)
How do prophets garner courage to say what they say and act as they do? Ways of living, lives led incomprehensible by the masses are the status quo for prophets. They find unconscionable injustice. Trivializing demeaning statutes, verbalized slogans poking ridicule, stomping out voices of needed change inspire the hearts of prophets. They take to heart the words of Jesus to fear no one and believe in HIs proclamation that anything concealed will eventually end up revealed and needs to be proclaimed . Once shouted upon housetops throughout a city, but today electronically shouted on multiple channels of communication. Prophets touch social, economic, political, cultural and spiritual nerves. And as believers, by our baptism, we are anointed as prophets of our faith. Given with Jesus’ guarantee that if we acknowledge Him before others, He will acknowledge us before His Heavenly Father, our Heavenly Father. A multitude of ways to witness to our faith, trusting in prayer, touching humanity in service and telling our story. For in faith we entrust our lives to God, so we must not falter from living like we believe with a prophetic voice. Otherwise, faith lingers as a superficial mindset not piercing the reality of life. Abuse of power, stagnate structures, silencing voices in the realm of faith disturbed prophets of faith through the millenniums and continues to people populating the pews today. Some may throw up their hands in despair and walk away, but knowing God’s great love allows prophets to courageously stay in the milieu. Sometimes on the fringes of conventional circles to peruse the landscape while other times in the midst organizing voices and hands to dismantle systemic obstacles fracturing the human family, like a wedge splitting apart bonds of Divine unity. Outcast and strangers precipitated in the process offers causes to ostracize, people to slam by voices seeking power instead of living prophetically. But whoever moves in the Lord experiences mercy, kindness and sees the Spirit of truth testify, as they have prophetically testified.
Individual Reflection: Jeremiah 20:10-13
Pope Francis has declared November 19th, Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time the World Day for the Poor. How might you encourage your parish community to celebrate this day?
Family Reflection: Romans 5:12-15
June 29th is the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul. Talk about the prophetic realms of their lives and how they model faith for us today.
Pray the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary provided by the USCCB: http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/prayers-and-devotions/rosaries/scriptural-rosary-for-justice-and-peace-homepage.cfm.
“We pray the Luminous Mysteries to help us follow more closely the example set by Jesus in His ministry to the poor and the vulnerable.”
How does this meditation guide you to leading a more prophetic faith journey?
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 June 19, 2017 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.