February 1, 2015: Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Catholic Social Teaching: Solidarity
“…Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor. God’s voice is no longer heard, the quiet joy of his love is no longer felt and the desire to do good fades. This is a very real danger for believers too. Many fall prey to it and end up resentful, angry and listless. That .is no way to live a dignified and fulfilled life; it is not God’s will for us, nor is it the life in the Spirit which has its source in the heart of the risen Christ.” (2)
The Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis
First Reading: Deuteronomy 18:15-20
Psalm:95:1-2, 6-7, 7-9
Second Reading: 1st Corinthians 7:32-35
Gospel: Mark 1:21-28
Catechism of the Catholic Church
Christ’s whole earthly life – his words and deeds, his silences and sufferings, indeed his manner of being and speaking – is Revelation of the Father. Jesus can say: “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father”, and the Father can say: “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!” Because our Lord became man in order to do his Father’s will, even the least characteristics of his mysteries manifest “God’s love. . . among us”. (516)
From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church: No references this week
We each have our Maribah, where we have quarreled with God. A sign post with a different name, but the same destination of distance from the Divine. Other times we sidestep spiritual dialogue, venture to our Massah and with actions of our own design test God’s graces. We each worship in our own Capernaum, entering holy ground. Are we astonished by Jesus’ teaching, to let the wow of simplicity and trust reveal He is the Holy One of God? For he comes not to destroy, but heal us, only if today and every day we hear His voice in the whisper of our conscience, the silence of our heart. His words makes our hearts supple, so as to not to harden and crack with despair. It allows us to bow down in worship beyond a gesture of respectful reverence, to philosophically give credence to the Lord’s way. Many times countercultural in scope:
To respect the least, not the powerful
Live as sheep, not individuals
Fear not instead of hate mongering
Blessings for peacemakers, not from the status of balance sheets
Come follow Him, not stay in our same place of material or ideological comfort sustained by false gods
Blessings for the meek, not the righteous
Blessings from being poor in spirit, not arrogant
(adapted from Communion antiphon)
Individual Reflection: Psalm 95:1-2, 6-7, 7-9
Share with your parish community Bread for the World’s Lenten Prayers for Hungry People, available to download or table tent style to place on dining tables or elsewhere around the parish campus
Family Reflection: Mark 1:21-28
Have each family member share which teaching of Jesus astonishes them the most. How is it challenging? Do you seek healing to live it or do you venture to your Meribah or Massah?
Lord, when we journey to our Maribah or Massah, help us to see the folly of such treks. Help us root faith in worship at our Capernaum, to hear your teachings and let healing free our hearts from harshness. Then may we joyfully acclaim your ways by accentuating goodness in our demeanor and actions, asking questions to precipitate hopeful change, always with a spirit of thanksgiving, for we have seen your works.
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, January 24, 2015 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.