March 6, 2016: Fourth Sunday of Lent
Catholic Social Teaching: Call to Family, Community and Participation
The principle of the common good, to which every aspect of social life must be related if it is to attain its fullest meaning, stems from the dignity, unity and equality of all people. According to its primary and broadly accepted sense, the common good indicates “the sum total of social conditions which allow people, either as groups or as individuals, to reach their fulfilment more fully and more easily”.
The common good does not consist in the simple sum of the particular goods of each subject of a social entity. Belonging to everyone and to each person, it is and remains “common”, because it is indivisible and because only together is it possible to attain it, increase it and safeguard its effectiveness, with regard also to the future. Just as the moral actions of an individual are accomplished in doing what is good, so too the actions of a society attain their full stature when they bring about the common good. The common good, in fact, can be understood as the social and community dimension of the moral good. (164) Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
First Reading: Joshua 5:9a, 10-12
Psalm: 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7
Second Reading: 2nd Corinthians 5:17-21
Gospel: Luke 15:1-3, 11-32
Catechism of the Catholic Church
The process of conversion and repentance was described by Jesus in the parable of the prodigal son, the center of which is the merciful father: The fascination of illusory freedom, the abandonment of the father’s house; the extreme misery in which the son finds himself after squandering his fortune; his deep humiliation at finding himself obliged to feed swine, and still worse, at wanting to feed on the husks the pigs ate; his reflection on all he has lost; his repentance and decision to declare himself guilty before his father; the journey back; the father’s generous welcome; the father’s joy – all these are characteristic of the process of conversion. the beautiful robe, the ring, and the festive banquet are symbols of that new life – pure worthy, and joyful – of anyone who returns to God and to the bosom of his family, which is the Church. Only the heart of Christ Who knows the depths of his Father’s love could reveal to us the abyss of his mercy in so simple and beautiful a way. (1439) From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Fourth Sunday of Lent, Cycle C
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:
2nd Corinthians 5:17
The entrance of Jesus Christ into the history of the world reaches its culmination in the Paschal Mystery, where nature itself takes part in the drama of the rejection of the Son of God and in the victory of his Resurrection (cf. Mt 27:45,51, 28:2). Crossing through death and grafting onto it the new splendour of the Resurrection, Jesus inaugurates a new world in which everything is subjected to him (cf. 1 Cor 15:20-28) and he creates anew those relationships of order and harmony that sin had destroyed. Knowledge of the imbalances existing between man and nature should be accompanied by an awareness that in Jesus the reconciliation of man and the world with God — such that every human being, aware of divine love, can find anew the peace that was lost — has been brought about. “Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come” (2 Cor 5:17). Nature, which was created in the Word is, by the same Word made flesh, reconciled to God and given new peace (cf. Col 1:15-20). (454)
Realizing the gift of the Father’s mercy, we come to a newness of life. A process of coming out of our cocoon of isolation and experiencing metamorphosis thru Divine precepts, across the interconnectedness of humanity and creation. Opening our eyes to see beyond greed and excess need, tasting the goodness of life rooted in Christ. Where we are a new creation radiant in joy, not blushing in shame from squandering the gift of God’s mercy. As we have been reconciled with God, we are entrusted with sharing the message of reconciliation in the world, as ambassadors for Christ. Ambassadors of peace, ambassadors of hope, ambassadors of dignity, ambassadors of joy, ambassadors of kindness, ambassadors of compassion. Ambassadors healing division to help people taste and see the love we receive from God is destined for benefit of the common good. For God provides in many ways, the substance of daily manna and the bounty of the land all offered in goodness. But do we think God’s mercy is only our gift and waver into indignity and stress inclusion only for a chosen few to build a society and Church ravaged by exclusion, closed doors saying you are not welcome? Or do we even have an ungrateful heart for God’s beneficence, perks of royal spiritual clothing and the extravagant banquet, desiring more tangible goods instead of treasuring the transformation of our heart and soul? And we are called to a collective celebration of our Father’s goodness rooted in our reconciliation and mercy received from Him. To celebrate the journey of each person healed of indifference to God with the same fervor as our personal embrace of God. For we know the treasure of returning from the journey as a prodigal daughter or son of God to live life found in the joy of the Gospel and with peace in our soul.
Individual Reflection: 2nd Corinthians 5:17-21
How will you be an ambassador for Christ this week?
Family Reflection: Luke 15:1-3, 11-32
Who in your family has been a prodigal daughter or son and needs to be welcomed where there has been exclusion?
Prayer: Prayer after Communion
O God, who enlightens everyone who comes into this world, illuminate our hearts we pray, with the splendor of your grace, that we may always ponder what is worthy and pleasing to your majesty and love you in all sincerity. 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 February 23, 2016 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.