September 21, 2014: Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Catholic Social Teaching: Life and Dignity of the Human Person
“The lay faithful are called to cultivate an authentic lay spirituality by which they are reborn as new men and women, both sanctified and sanctifiers, immersed in the mystery of God and inserted in society. Such a spirituality will build up the world according to Jesus’ Spirit. It will make people capable of looking beyond history, without separating themselves from it, of cultivating a passionate love for God without looking away from their bothers and sisters, whom they are able to see as the Lord sees them and love as the Lord loves them. This spirituality precludes both an intimist spiritualism and a social activism, expressing itself instead in a life- giving synthesis that bestows unity, meaning and hope on an existence that for so many different reasons is contradictory and fragmented. Prompted by such a spirituality, the lay faithful are able to contribute “to the sanctification of the world, as from within like leaven, by fulfilling their own particular duties. Thus, especially by the witness of their own life … they must manifest Christ to others”. (545) Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
First Reading: Isaiah 55: 6-9
Psalm: 145:2-3, 8-9, 17-18
Second Reading: Philippians 1:20c-24, 27aard
Gospel: Matthew 20:1-16a
Catechism of the Catholic Church
The economy of law and grace turns men’s hearts away from avarice and envy. It initiates them into desire for the Sovereign Good; it instructs them in the desires of the Holy Spirit who satisfies man’s heart.
The God of the promises always warned man against seduction by what from the beginning has seemed “good for food . . . a delight to the eyes . . . to be desired to make one wise. (2541)
From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:
The essential characteristic of the lay faithful who work in the Lord’s vineyard (cf. Mt20:1-16) is the secular nature of their Christian discipleship, which is carried out precisely in the world. “It belongs to the laity to seek the kingdom of God by engaging in temporal affairs and directing them according to God’s will”. By Baptism, the laity are incorporated into Christ and are made participants in his life and mission according to their specific identity. “The term ‘laity’ is here understood to mean all the faithful except those in Holy Orders and those who belong to a religious state approved by the Church. That is, the faithful who, by Baptism are incorporated into Christ, are placed in the People of God and in their own way share the priestly, prophetic and kingly office of Christ, and to the best of their ability carry on the mission of the whole Christian people in the Church and in the world”.
In our humanity, we seek perfection, but it lies in a mirage outside our nature. We distance our self from God, consumed by unworthiness and inadequacies. Mirages and consuming thoughts only distance our self from God’s generosity, for the Lord’s thoughts are not our thoughts. The self-centered facades limit our receptivity to call upon the Lord who is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, of great kindness, compassionate toward all His works and just in all His ways. Not just for a chosen, holy, few people, but the Lord is good to ALL. Do we just take time to get unabsorbed from our self to notice?
To realize the Lord’s generosity is truth looks beyond the hollowness of our being when we do not seek and call upon the Lord. In the fulfillment of seeking God, we grasp the generous nature of God to live with generosity in our lives. A generosity of welcoming all at our parishes. A generosity of appreciating the diversity of talents people bring to an organization, not prioritizing one’s own skills with superiority. A generosity of inclusion to new people joining a cause as a movement grows and not stagnating by exclusivity of a few founding members. A generosity of sharing of yourself, in giving of time to those in need, living in the spirit of Matthew 25, instead of embedded in personal pleasures. For generosity dispels an envious spirit that only deals in succinct calculations, lending an air of priority to one’s needs and status to lack the mindset of the Lord. And may we notice the ones who want to work, get involved, have the initiative of participation, not laziness, yet they stand on the sidelines for no one invites, encourages or accepts them. Why are they denied the generosity of being part of the human family’s activities?
In different facets of our lives we maybe the laborers of dawn in our profession, the laborer of noon at our parish and the laborer of five o’clock in a cause we just have become passionate about. May this perspective instill in us a realization of the collective nature of our existence? Where we are established, know the ropes, to share with generosity our skills and abide in generosity of a welcoming spirit that doesn’t grumble about newcomers. Or entering a new endeavor be thankful for inclusion and receptive to the generosity of others. For this is a process that defines the equality of humanity, where God looks upon us as His friends and co-workers in the kingdom of God here and now and we are to take that generosity to be the friends and serve with each other. Where living with this prerogative, cheating is uttered as a word of greed, for ultimately we all have the same gift, not to hoard, but share God’s generosity.
Individual Reflection: Matthew 20:1-16a
Attend an interfaith International Day of Peace prayer service in your community.
Family Reflection: Psalm 145:2-3, 8-9, 17-18
Organize placing a peace pole (a pole with peace written in many languages on it) at your parish or neighborhood park to reflect peace in the languages people speak in your neighborhood.
For the Thirtieth International Day of Peace, write a prayer and share it with ten people.
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 6, 2014 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.