October 2, 2016: Twenty-seventh Sunday of Ordinary Time
Catholic Social Teaching: Call to Family, Community and Participation
“The sacredness and dignity of human life exists not in isolation, but affirmed through individuals growing in community and seeking together the well-being of all, especially the poor and vulnerable.”
First Reading: Habakkuk 1:2-3; 2:2-4
Psalm: 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9
Second Reading: 2nd Timothy 1:6-8, 13-14
Gospel: Luke 17:5-10
Catechism of the Catholic Church
Since the initiative belongs to God in the order of grace, no one can merit the initial grace of forgiveness and justification, at the beginning of conversion. Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification, for the increase of grace and charity, and for the attainment of eternal life. Even temporal goods like health and friendship can be merited in accordance with God’s wisdom. These graces and goods are the object of Christian prayer. Prayer attends to the grace we need for meritorious actions. (2010)
From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Twenty-seventh Sunday of Ordinary Time, Cycle C
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church: No references this week
Ruin maybe the focus of our inquisitiveness in the world. Species in the Amazon extinct, trees withering in the drought consuming western forests, salt water intruding fresh water springs due to rising sea levels, plastic littering our beaches, people grasping for their daily bread. We can look at destruction of life among rubble of insensitivity, power inflicting violence, discord of arguments drowning out dialogue. But as followers of Jesus, we can have God’s vision of a just society etched in our hearts by the words of the Beatitudes. Where the message of our hearts is written down in the words of our journals, the penned letter to a friend, the text expressing hope, we write in belief of cherishing the Lord’s fulfillment of His promises and our call to be people of light in the darkness. The exclamation of faith gives us life and no longer will our hearts be hardened. With hearts pliable, softened with feeling, emotions transpire. We learn to express our joyfulness in the snapshot of a current moment wretched with challenges never will cease our vision of eternity, the unending victory. We acclaim we don’t save ourselves, but live in the paradox of salvation by losing ourselves into trusting the Rock. With hearts unhardened from being unburdened with guilt, shame, we live in the presence of the Lord, each day in creation with thanksgiving by the choices we make, the words we speak and the love we show. Humility vanishes pride and we freely hold out our hand in worship to receive the Lord, bowing down to the blessings only available in surrender of our hearts that are moldable by the potter. Hardened hearts can only be broken, cracked, chipped, never formed by the love of Christ. Unhardened hearts kneel in prayer, a posture of vulnerability for the viability of a life-long faith journey, never envisioning a need to test God, chastise the Divine, question the purpose of one’s life for the works of God are seen in the physical reality of the goodness of all created things and the spirituality reality of knowing peace in one’s trusting heart.
In sacramental acclamations, God imparts spiritual gifts. We live not as cowards idolizing fear and timidity, but as Christians interacting vibrantly with the world. Possessed by the power of Christ’s love, we exert self-control from the strength that comes from God, to witness faith in love, not bullying, judgment and condemnation.
A journey to soften our hearts to lives of faith only happens with the help of the Holy Spirit dwelling within us providing insights to see we don’t need mountains of faith, boulders of faith, even rock size faith. Only faith the size of a mustard seed, one of the smallest seeds known, planted and nurtured, it grows into a tall plant providing food, shelter to birds and beauty when blooming. We might say our faith is weak, not dynamic or why would God use me. But just a mustard size seed of faith is a grace that we cherish with a softened heart and let the Holy Spirit set on fire to proclaim God’s love in the world.
Individual Reflection: 2nd Timothy 1:6-8, 13-14
October 2nd is the Memorial of the Guardian Angels, if the day does not fall on Sunday. Each day let us acknowledge our guardian angels that protect and guide us during our journey of life.
Family Reflection: Luke 17:5-10
“The apostle said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”
October 7th is the memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary. As a family pray the rosary and afterwards discuss how the mysteries of each decade help us to focus on the life of Christ and increase our faith.
Pray the Beatitudes, Matthew 5:3-12, seeking to more deeply unharden your heart and live in Christ’s love.
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.
List one or two upcoming events, legislative action alerts or social justice websites
By Barb Born September 29, 2016 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.