August 17, 2014: Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Catholic Social Teaching: Solidarity
“Peace in society cannot be understood as pacification or the mere absence of violence resulting from the domination of one part of society over others. Nor does true peace act as a pretext for justifying a social structure which silences or appeases the poor, so that more affluent can placidly support their lifestyle while others have to make do as they can. Demands involving the distribution of wealth, concern for the poor and human rights cannot be suppressed under the guise of creating a consensus on paper or a transient peace for a contented minority. The dignity of the human person and the common good rank higher than the comfort of those who refuse to renounce their privileges. When these values are threatened, a prophetic voice must be raised. (218) The Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis
First Reading: Isaiah 56:1, 6-7
Psalm: 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8
Second Reading: Romans 11:13-15, 29-32
Gospel: Matthew 15:21-28
Catechism of the Catholic Church
Just as Jesus prays to the Father and gives thanks before receiving his gifts, so he teaches us filial boldness: “Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you receive it, and you will.” Such is the power of prayer and of faith that does not doubt: “all things are possible to him who believes.” Jesus is as saddened by the “lack of faith” of his own neighbors and the “little faith” of his own disciples as he is struck with admiration at the great faith of the Roman centurion and the Canaanite woman. (2610)
From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
No references this week
People, society dub individuals and groups as foreigners. A word, when infused with malice, to instill division, difference or segregation. Sometimes, people like the Canaanite woman are stigmatized multiple times. She was a woman in a male dominated society and of a heritage apart from the chosen people. Unlike the chosen disciples at times experiencing fear and little faith, she grasped faith intently and Jesus replied to her, “Great is your faith.” An utterance reserved not for the chosen in Jerusalem, but proclaimed in the region of Tyre and Sidon, cities designated as pagan enclaves. A symbol of the universality of Christ’s message. A revealing of salvation and justice for those loving the name of the Lord and becoming His servants. Welcoming in the house of the Lord all people to gather in prayer that hold to God’s covenant. An essence of offering equity and inclusion. Irrevocable gifts and call of God flowing with mercy. A grace always there in abundance that we would only miss, if on our part, we stubbornly reject the blessing to languish in disobedience.
The mercy we receive should empower us with great faith. A faith not afraid to welcome foreigners, people from other lands or people sitting in the next pew. People we do not know or acknowledge, yet they too are recipients of God’s irrevocable gifts. How will you use your gift of God’s mercy to live as a servant bridge builder in your family, parish and society? For God’s altar welcomes the offerings and sacrifices of all people observing what is right and doing what is just. A trek to the holy mountain, made joyfully when we widen our group of cohorts and embellish inclusivity. For when inclusion mires into exclusion, life becomes a quagmire of excuses, judgment and hate to suffocate the joy and praise of a great faith. Does your family lack joy? Does your parish lack joy? Does society lack joy? Why let exclusion sap the joy from existence and reject the irrevocable gifts of God’s mercy and grace?
Individual Reflection: Isaiah 56:1, 6-7
Share the Just Faith resource on New Evangelization with your parish:
Family Reflection: Romans 11:13-15, 29-32
How will you share Bread for the World resources on hunger, with your family, friends and parish community? What actions will these resources help you to take?
Thank you God for your irrevocable gift of your Son, flowing countless streams of blessings through our lives. Let our hearts have the porosity of great faith to absorb the blessings and share them with a spirit of inclusion to praise you ! 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 5, 2014 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern