March 24, 2013: Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord
Catholic Social Teaching: Solidarity
“…Jesus of Nazareth makes the connection between solidarity and charity shine brightly before all, illuminating the entire meaning of the connection: “In light of faith, solidarity seeks to go beyond itself, to take on the specifically Christian dimensions of total gratitude, forgiveness and reconciliation. One’s neighbor is then not only a human being with his or her own rights and a fundamental equality with everyone else, but becomes the living image of God the Father, redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ and placed under the permanent action of the Holy Spirit. One’s neighbor must therefore be loved, even if an enemy, with the same love with which the Lord loves him or her…” (196) Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
Gospel: Luke 19: 28-40
First Reading: Isaiah 50: 4-7
Psalm: 22: 8-9, 17-18, 19-20, 23-24
Second Reading: Philippians 2:6-11
Gospel: Luke 22:14-23, 56, 23:1-49
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
“The unsurpassed apex of the perspective indicated here is the life of Jesus of Nazareth…who is one with humanity even to the point of “death on a cross”…In him and thanks to him, life in society too, despite all its contradictions and ambiguities, can be rediscovered, as a place of life and hope, in that it is a sign of grace that is continuously offered to all and because it is an invitation to even higher and more involved forms of sharing…” (196)
The Pharisees asked Jesus to rebuke his disciples, as he processed on a colt to the Mount of Olives. The dialogue continued amidst the din of joyful praise from the multitude of disciples welcoming their king, as Jesus said, “If they keep silent, the stones will cry out.” In other words, Jesus’ message cannot be contained, even to ooze out in society’s hardness of heart. Will we follow the decrees of Jesus, our king, today and not keep silent? When we hear prayers affirming military action, will we be a voice for non-violence, reconciliation and peace? When we see government budget decisions further cast children and senior citizens into poverty, will we be a voice for economic and generational justice? When we hear racial and gender slander fuel fires of discrimination, will we be a voice for equality? When we see greed exploiting God’s creation, will we be a voice for sustainability? If we remain silent, we consent to perpetuating injustice. Silence embraces complicity, leaving our king abandoned without voices. Eventually, the most unlikely medium will cry out and the hidden injustice emerges into stark reality. As we follow our king, let us affirm faith in praise and shatter silence engulfing injustice.
Individual Reflection: Luke 19:28-40
This Holy Week read Like a Hammer Shattering Rock: Hearing the Gospels Today, by Megan McKenna.
Family Reflection: Isaiah 50:4-7
Set a place at the dinner table each evening of Holy Week, for a person or group of people that are marginalized, condemned or victimized in the world. Reflect and discuss how the family could stand in solidarity with them.
List one or two upcoming events, legislative action alerts or social justice web sites.
By Barb Born March 18, 2013