November 1, 2015: Solemnity of All Saints
Catholic Social Teaching: Rights and Responsibilities
The object of the Church’s social doctrine is essentially the same that constitutes the reason for its existence: the human person called to salvation, and as such entrusted by Christ to the Church’s care and responsibility. By means of her social doctrine, the Church shows her concern for human life in society, aware that the quality of social life — that is, of the relationships of justice and love that form the fabric of society — depends in a decisive manner on the protection and promotion of the human person, for whom every community comes into existence. In fact, at play in society are the dignity and rights of the person, and peace in the relationships between persons and between communities of persons. These are goods that the social community must pursue and guarantee. In this perspective, the Church’s social doctrine has the task of proclamation, but also of denunciation.
In the first place it is the proclamation of what the Church possesses as proper to herself: “a view of man and of human affairs in their totality”. This is done not only on the level of principles but also in practice. The Church’s social doctrine, in fact, offers not only meaning, value and criteria of judgment, but also the norms and directives of action that arise from these. With her social doctrine the Church does not attempt to structure or organize society, but to appeal to, guide and form consciences.
This social doctrine also entails a duty to denounce, when sin is present: the sin of injustice and violence that in different ways moves through society and is embodied in it. By denunciation, the Church’s social doctrine becomes judge and defender of unrecognized and violated rights, especially those of the poor, the least and the weak. The more these rights are ignored or trampled, the greater becomes the extent of violence and injustice, involving entire categories of people and large geographical areas of the world, thus giving rise to social questions, that is, to abuses and imbalances that lead to social upheaval. A large part of the Church’s social teaching is solicited and determined by important social questions, to which social justice is the proper answer. (81) Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
First Reading: Revelation 7:2-4, 9-14
Psalm: 24:1bc-2, 3-4ab, 5-6
Second Reading: 1st John 3:1-3
Gospel: Matthew 5:1-12a
Catechism of the Catholic Church
This perfect life with the Most Holy Trinity – this communion of life and love with the Trinity, with the Virgin Mary, the angels and all the blessed – is called “heaven.” Heaven is the ultimate end and fulfillment of the deepest human longings, the state of supreme, definitive happiness. (1024) From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Solemnity of All Saints
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:
The peace of Christ is in the first place reconciliation with the Father, which is brought about by the ministry Jesus entrusted to his disciples and which begins with the proclamation of peace: “Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!”’ (Lk 10:5; cf. Rom 1:7). Peace is then reconciliation with one’s brothers and sisters, for in the prayer that Jesus taught us, the “Our Father”, the forgiveness that we ask of God is linked to the forgiveness that we grant to our brothers and sisters: “Forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors” (Mt 6:12). With this twofold reconciliation Christians can become peacemakers and therefore participate in the Kingdom of God, in accordance with what Jesus himself proclaims in the Beatitudes: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God” (Mt 5:9)(492)
Absorbed in the nuances of our day, can we free ourselves from the triviality of daily happenings to let our minds ponder our “ultimate abode and fulfillment of the deepest human longings and supreme, definitive happiness, the communion of life and love with the Trinity, the Virgin Mary, the angels and all the blessed?” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1024) All the saints named in litanies and those unknown in name intercede for us on our journey, as pilgrims advancing in faith. How have saints ascended the mountain of the Lord to stand in His holy place? In the words of the Beatitudes, Jesus teaches us to desire the path of blessedness, not what is vain. An essence of spiritual joy and happiness in wrestling with our humanity, we come to realize in our frailty. We see an illuminated sliver of the Kingdom of heaven. And like Jesus’ time, walking with the lowly, marginalized and oppressed, we see attachment to earthly wealth separates us from the holistic peace of shalom. Learning that mourning collectively over injustice woven of physical and economic parameters, we will be comforted because we care, have hope with a resurrection spirit embedded in acts demonstrating a belief in healing of people’s societal scars and social structures. A blending of meekness in not willing to be a doormat, with a hunger and thirst for righteousness present in the crevasses of our world that exhibits a wait full trusting in God that separates our passion to manipulate God’s kingdom on earth, as if it was our own fiefdom. Only in letting kingdoms fall from our hands, so we gratefully accept the gift of God’s kingdom can we inherit the land and are satisfied, for we cease warring with ourselves over expanding our kingdoms that never satisfy. A process of living as peacemakers not by the use of force, but highlighting the root cause of violence that prevent peace to speak words of reconciliation, with caring acts of support. Without the grace of faith, the Beatitudes may appear a bizarre venture into idealistic fantasyland leading to persecution and venomous insults or exclusion from worldly structures. With the Beatitudes, Jesus invites us to see beyond the illusions of the world and walk the challenging path of the saints, so we do not sulk, frown, complain and whine, but rejoice with gladness for we grasp the promise, our reward will be great in heaven and eternally live among the presence of saints that walked before us.
Individual Reflection: Matthew 5:1-12a
Write a letter of thanksgiving to someone that has been a living saint in your life.
Family Reflection: 1st John 3:1-3
Read the Confiteor and reflect on the depth of the penitential expression:
I confess to almighty God and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have greatly sinned in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and in what I have failed to do, through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault; therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin, all the Angels and Saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God.
In my thoughts and in my words…how our thoughts permeate the fabric of our humanity… like the words of Mark 7:15 , “…things that come from within are what defile.”
What I have done and failed to do…are sins of omission, not speaking for justice, not willingly help others many time more profound and consequential in molding our being, than sins we actually do?
Ask Mary, all the angels and saints and our brothers and sisters for their prayers on our journey…what a multitude of prayers, with the Holy Mother of God, ALL the angels and saints and that we pray for each and every person in the church, our sisters and brothers when this is said at Mass ! That’s a lot of prayers supporting us !
Prayerfully say a litany of saints. Include the names of saints whose witness of faith have strengthened your faith.
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, October 21, 2015 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.