August 30, 2015: Twenty-second Sunday of Ordinary Time
Catholic Social Teaching: Call to Family, Community and Participation
An innate tension also exists between globalization and localization. We need to pay attention to the global so as to avoid narrowness and banality. Yet we also need to look to the local, which keeps our feet on the ground. Together, the two prevent us from falling into one of two extremes. In the first, people get caught up in an abstract, globalized universe, falling into step behind everyone else, admiring the glitter of other people’s world, gaping and applauding at all the right times. At the other extreme, they turn into a museum of local folklore, a world apart, doomed to doing the same things over and over, and incapable of being challenged by novelty or appreciating the beauty which God bestows beyond their borders. (234)
The whole is greater than the part, but it is also greater than the sum of its parts. There is no need, then, to be overly obsessed with limited and particular questions. We constantly have to broaden our horizons and see the greater good which will benefit us all. But this has to be done without evasion or uprooting. We need to sink our roots deeper into the fertile soil and history of our native place, which is a gift of God. We can work on a small scale, in our own neighbourhood, but with a larger perspective. Nor do people who wholeheartedly enter into the life of a community need to lose their individualism or hide their identity; instead, they receive new impulses to personal growth. The global need not stifle, nor the particular prove barren. (235) Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis
First Reading: Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-8
Psalm: 15: 2-3, 3-4, 4-5
Second Reading: James1:17-18, 21b-22, 27
Gospel: Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23
Catechism of the Catholic Church
The sixth beatitude proclaims, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” “Pure in heart” refers to those who have attuned their intellects and wills to the demands of God’s holiness, chiefly in three areas: charity; chastity or sexual rectitude; love of truth and orthodoxy of faith. There is a connection between purity of heart, of body, and of faith:
The faithful must believe the articles of the Creed “so that by believing they may obey God, by obeying may live well, by living well may purify their hearts, and with pure hearts may understand what they believe.” (2518) From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Twenty-Second Sunday of Ordinary Time, Cycle B
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:
This document is proposed also to the brethren of other Churches and Ecclesial Communities, to the followers of other religions, as well as to all people of good will who are committed to serving the common good: may they receive it as the fruit of a universal human experience marked by countless signs of the presence of God’s Spirit. It is a treasury of things old and new (cf. Mt 13:52), which the Church wishes to share, in thanksgiving to God, from whom comes “every good endowment and ever perfect gift” (Jas 1:17). It is a sign of hope in the fact that religions and cultures today show openness to dialogue and sense the urgent need to join forces in promoting justice, fraternity, peace and the growth of the human person.
The Catholic Church joins her own commitment to that made in the social field by other Churches and Ecclesial Communities, whether at the level of doctrinal reflection or at the practical level. Together with them, the Catholic Church is convinced that from the common heritage of social teachings preserved by the living tradition of the people of God there will come motivations and orientations for an ever closer cooperation in the promotion of justice and peace. (12)
The Church has the right to be a teacher for mankind, a teacher of the truth of faith: the truth not only of dogmas but also of the morals whose source lies in human nature itself and in the Gospel. The word of the Gospel, in fact, is not only to be heard but is also to be observed and put into practice (cf. Mt 7:24; Lk 6:46-47; Jn 14:21,23-24; Jas 1:22). Consistency in behaviour shows what one truly believes and is not limited only to things strictly church-related or spiritual but involves men and women in the entirety of their life experience and in the context of all their responsibilities. However worldly these responsibilities may be, their subject remains man, that is, the human being whom God calls, by means of the Church, to participate in his gift of salvation.
Men and women must respond to the gift of salvation not with a partial, abstract or merely verbal acceptance, but with the whole of their lives — in every relationship that defines life — so as not to neglect anything, leaving it in a profane and worldly realm where it is irrelevant or foreign to salvation. For this reason the Church’s social doctrine is not a privilege for her, nor a digression, a convenience or interference: it is her right to proclaim the Gospel in the context of society, to make the liberating word of the Gospel resound in the complex worlds of production, labour, business, finance, trade, politics, law, culture, social communications, where men and women live. (70)
With precepts of faith grounded in the commandments, our God asks us not to add or subtract from their totality. For they connect and support each other, so to loosen one mooring of where we dock our faith sets us adrift from the Lord and our community of faith. If we pick and choose the commandments we decide to put on our plate, like a buffet line, faith becomes a self-conceived observance. We like the desserts, those observances that are sweet to our palette, fit our world view, but ignore the commandments that are less appealing, hard to swallow. Faith exists as a cheesecake versus veggie trade off, instead of a balanced meal with room for all God’s commandments on our proverbial plate. To live faith with a single mindset, single devotion, single issue, we fracture ourselves from God’s desire we embrace goodness of life found in the diversity of balance. Our faith journey needs to be like riding a teeter-totter, a ride in harmonic balance, not continually suspended in the air, feet not touching the ground. For there we are not in touch with the world, suspended above the throes of the world. If may feel comfortable, a sense of freedom, the view appears good, but a false picture because we are too far away to touch reality. We cannot be like Peter on the mountain of the Transfiguration and be comfy basking in Divine glow ,but must heed the Lord’s call from the temporary retreats of spiritual enrichment to venture into our Jerusalems—the encounter with the real world.
Living the commandments, we do justice and live in the presence of the Lord that is not scolding, condemning, chastising, saying you are wrong I am right. But living the commandments of having no other gods before our God and not doing x, y and z means we are doing the positive anthesis of life unfolding in goodness to others. The asking of questions of why injustice exists and how it can be rectified. A process bringing healing and wholeness to life, both to individuals and collective society. This way of living the commandments slanders not people with brisk, untruthful lashes of the tongue and harms not fellow men and women. Commandments of refusing killing in all forms, not exploiting laborers for personal gain or snatching resources leaving environmental degradation behind for local cultures to deal with, so we become doers of God’s word not judges and domineers of humanity. Words we must receive in humbleness to let God’s commandments be gently placed in our hearts, for God does not force His ways upon us, that which He seeks for us to embrace in joy. Sometimes complacency and architects of tradition dominate over God’s commandments. Tradition observed by ritual words on people’s lips but with hearts far from God, to vainly worship the doctrines of human precepts. To follow God’s commandments, we must question human tradition that dismisses God’s ways, look inside to the commandments God has written on our hearts and celebrate with loving actions in the world.
Individual Reflection: James 1:17-18, 21b-22, 27
Prayerfully gather with friends and reflect on ways you can be doers of the Lord’s words. This next month implement one of the ideas.
Family Reflection: Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-8
This week take one of the commandments related to love of “neighbor” and act upon it in a positive way, so to transform “you shall not” to doing goodness. Read about the commandment you select in the Catechism of the Catholic Church: http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM
Prayer: Prayer After Communion: After Mass spend some quiet time reflecting on these words:
Renewed by this bread from the heavenly table, we beseech you, Lord, that being the food of charity, it may confirm our hearts and stir us to serve you in our neighbor, Through Christ our Lord, 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 15, 2015 Feast of the Assumption Holy Mary,Mother of God Pray for us. The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.