October 20, 2013: Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Catholic Social Teaching: Life and Dignity of the Human Person
“The Church’s obligation to participate in shaping the moral character of society is a requirement of our faith. It is a basic part of the mission we have received from Jesus Christ, who offers a vision of life revealed to us in Sacred Scripture and Tradition…Christ’s love for us lets us see our human dignity in full clarity and compels us to love our neighbors as he has loved us. Christ, the Teacher shows us what is true and good, that is, what is in accord with our human nature as free, intelligent beings created in God’s image and likeness and endowed by the Creator with dignity and rights.” Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, (9), USCCB
First Reading: Exodus 17:8-13
Psalm: 121: 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8
Second Reading: 2nd Timothy 3:14-4:2
Gospel: Luke 18:1-8
Catechism of the Catholic Church
“Pray constantly…always and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.” St Paul adds, ‘pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance making supplication for all the saints.’ For ‘we have not been commanded to work, to keep watch and to fast constantly, but it has been laid down that we are to pray without ceasing.’ This tireless fervor can come only from love. Against our dullness and laziness, the battle of prayer is that of humble, trusting and persevering love. This love opens our hearts to three enlightening and life-giving facts of faith and prayer.” (2742) From Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
2nd Timothy 4:2-5
“At the dawn of this Third Millennium, the Church does not tire of proclaiming the Gospel that brings salvation and genuine freedom also to temporal realities. She is mindful of the solemn exhortation given by Saint Paul to his disciple Timothy: ”Preach the word, be urgent in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, and exhort, be unfailing in patience and in teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths. As for you, always be steady, endure suffering, so the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” (2)
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All Scripture, God’s inspired Word, teaches us God’s ways. Beyond spiritual inspiration, Scripture yearns for application in our lives. We are charged to proclaim the Word by actions of refutation towards social sin and the sin of our soul. A process not based in righteous piety, but we must convince ourselves and others with encouragement and patience. There may be times when this seems convenient, but when we are busy, tired or self-absorbed these too are the times we must also proclaim the Word to ourselves and others. As ones who belong to God, the Word makes us competent and equipped for every good work the Lord asks us to do.
As the Word permeates the marrow of our spiritual being, we are sustained by prayer. An expression of faith, we are called to do without ceasing, so life becomes a prayer. Through prayer we grow in humbleness, for we acknowledge the Divine as the source of infinite life. From this awakening of awe, we trust the Trinitarian God that wraps our existence in love. A love infused into the breath of every movement of our being.
In our tradition, we see the saints were manifest by proclaiming the Word and lives rooted in prayer. Their actions and prayer styles were diverse, each attuned to their call. Our faith calls us not to be clones of one another, so we must not despair if the person sitting next to us in the pew at Mass embraces a different prayer style or social action. Then may Jesus see our faith on earth rooted in diversity embracing a variety of collective challenges, with the bond of unity to serve God as the Body of Christ.
Individual Reflection: 2nd Timothy 3:14-4:2
Visit the Archdiocese of Cincinnati’s website for a parish social ministry toolkit. How might your parish better proclaim the Word, by integrating Catholic Social Teaching across the breadth of parish life? What are three concrete steps you might help facilitate to address this process?
Family Reflection: Luke 18:1-8
Each day this week practice a different prayer style. Some possibilities could be verbal prayer, lectio divina, centering prayer, writing a poem of thanksgiving, journaling about a challenging issue or reflecting on the light of a candle and asking God how He wants you to be the light of the world. At the end of the week discuss the various styles and how they helped each family member to enhance their prayer life.
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 October 2, 2013 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concerns.