September 7,2014: Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Catholic Social Teaching: Solidarity
“Jesus of Nazareth makes the connection between solidarity and charity shine brightly before all, illuminating the entire meaning of this connection: “In the light of faith, solidarity seeks to go beyond itself, to take on the specifically Christian dimensions of total gratuity, forgiveness and reconciliation. One’s neighbour 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 neighbour must therefore be loved, even if an enemy, with the same love with which the Lord loves him or her; and for that person’s sake one must be ready for sacrifice, even the ultimate one: to lay down one’s life for the brethren (cf. 1 Jn 3:16)” Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, (196)
First Reading: Ezekiel 33:7-9
Psalm: 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9
Second Reading: Romans 13:8-10
Gospel: Matthew 18:15-20
Catechism of the Catholic Church
The fruits of charity are joy, peace, and mercy; charity demands beneficence and fraternal correction; it is benevolence; it fosters reciprocity and remains disinterested and generous; it is friendship and communion:
Love is itself the fulfillment of all our works. There is the goal; that is why we run: we run toward it, and once we reach it, in it we shall find rest. (1829)
From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
“God, in Christ, redeems not only the individual person but also the social relations existing between men. As the Apostle Paul teaches, life in Christ makes the human person’s identity and social sense — with their concrete consequences on the historical and social planes — emerge fully and in a new manner: “For in Christ Jesus you are all children of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ” (Gal3:26-28). In this perspective, Church communities, brought together by the message of Jesus Christ and gathered in the Holy Spirit round the Risen Lord (cf. Mt 18:20, 28:19-20; Lk 24:46-49), offer themselves as places of communion, witness and mission, and as catalysts for the redemption and transformation of social relationships.” (52)
Silence bestows credence on inequities, injustice and slander in our families, Church and society. Silence affirms the status quo where hatred and discrimination nest. Silence may appear the easy option, but it is an immoral option that by inaction perpetuates wicked ways. Today and each day, we hear God’s voice and joyfully live receptive to His ways, so we do not let silence harden our hearts to solidify into inaction. A spoken word, a kind action, living as if every person matters, all speak volumes to dispel the selfish evilness of power and control.
The din of silence is truly broken not to wrestle control and grab power, but out of love. A love of caring for the dignity of each person, the respect of each individual, the embrace of the goodness of creation, not sapping hope by killing inclusive positive initiatives, stealing resources from future generations or coveting material idols. Love woven in the social interrelationships of humanity to affirm the right to the basic necessities of life for all. Individual voices crescendoing as collective voices can raise questions embedded with why to seek responses immersed in the how of crafting society as a catalyst for positive change. One or two voices breaking through to fracture walls of silence might feel timid, but should be strengthened by knowing when two or three are gathered in the Lord’s name, He is in their midst to offer support, comfort and hope to journey as the flock He shepherds.
Individual Reflection: Ezekiel 33:7-9
Where have you seen silence broken to address inequities or injustice? Was non-violence integrated into the situation?
Family Reflection: Matthew 18:15-20
September 8th is the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the Canticle of Mary, Luke 1:46-55, how did Mary not remain silent about the injustices of her time?
September 9th is the memorial of St Peter Claver. In his ministry, how was he not silent about slavery?
Jesus, as you asked questions, you broke through the silence of hypocrisy that imprisoned people in intangible reality, removed from your love. Help us to ask similar questions today, where people are denied their dignity bestowed by your Father, partitioned from equality availed to all persons in God’s eyes. Help us to realize that in silence we give credence to the status quo and the quagmire of injustice. We praise you Lord for being in our midst, offering hope so are hearts are not hardened and joyfully proclaiming thanksgiving for we have seen God’s works. In your dear name Jesus we pray, Amen
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 August 26, 2014 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.