March 13, 2016: Fifth Sunday of Lent
Catholic Social Teaching: Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
The common good therefore involves all members of society, no one is exempt from cooperating, according to each one’s possibilities, in attaining it and developing it. The common good must be served in its fullness, not according to reductionist visions that are subordinated by certain people to their advantages; own rather it is to be based on a logic that leads to the assumption of greater responsibility. The common good corresponds to the highest of human instincts, but it is a good that is very difficult to attain because it requires the constant ability and effort to seek the good of others as though it were one’s own good.
Everyone also has the right to enjoy the conditions of social life that are brought about by the quest for the common good. The teaching of Pope Pius XI is still relevant: “the distribution of created goods, which, as every discerning person knows, is labouring today under the gravest evils due to the huge disparity between the few exceedingly rich and the unnumbered propertyless, must be effectively called back to and brought into conformity with the norms of the common good, that is, social justice”. (167) Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
First Reading: Isaiah 43:16-21
Psalm: 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6
Second Reading: Philippians 3:8-14
Gospel: John 8:1-11
Catechism of the Catholic Church
It is precisely in the Passion, when the mercy of Christ is about to vanquish it, that sin most clearly manifests its violence and its many forms: unbelief, murderous hatred, shunning and mockery by the leaders and the people, Pilate’s cowardice and the cruelty of the soldiers, Judas’ betrayal – so bitter to Jesus, Peter’s denial and the disciples’ flight. However, at the very hour of darkness, the hour of the prince of this world, the sacrifice of Christ secretly becomes the source from which the forgiveness of our sins will pour forth inexhaustibly. (1851) From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Fifth Sunday of Lent, Cycle C
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church: No References this week
When do we let a dream become spiritual reality? The wow words of Jesus sinking into our heart. Vivid words rebuking His mercy, testing the validity of rhetorical rhetoric can only lead us to a posture of defining laws, hurling violence, abuse and mayhem, far away from our Lord’s healing balm.
Losing all the detractors, those thinking their purity provides Divine credentials to evaluate, quantify and measure sin on a yardstick continuum of least to more sinfulness to discredit the solidarity sinfulness of all humanity. Losing all worldly judges, to walk resoundly away for they have no response to unquantifiable mercy, we realize the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus as our Lord that we gain Christ. Found only in Him, to define and have our being, without righteousness of our own, but through faith flowing mercifully from the righteousness of God. A continual pursuit, not something we will fully grasp until the sphere of eternity.
How will we grasp this newness of life, life giving to not snuff out hope, but filled with joy we might announce in praise? Will we shed ourselves of captivity by stern discipline, methodical religiosity that turns faith into a robotic pronouncement void of transformation from the teaching experiences Jesus conveyed in the dialogue of life? When society prioritizes condemnation over restoration of individuals and community, will we have the faith to ask pointed questions fostering healing or be poised to hurl stones in an instant? Can we stand beside people to peel away layers of hostility rooted in cultural, gender and class struggles economically, socially and spiritually? Does our faithful courage allow us to exhort others to sin no more, so we do not separate ourselves from God, one another and the whole of humanity? With prayer in the gardens of our souls, we realize to shy away from walking with the marginalized, judged of our day denies us the freedom in the newness of life the Lord asks us to embrace. Pondering, kneeling down, etching names in our prayerful reflection, we remember those unwilling, afraid, amassed in power and control to collectively journey in the newness of life the Lord invites us into through the shedding, loss of everything that separates us from pursuing the hope in Christ, the beautiful righteousness of God.
Individual Reflection: Philippians 3:8-14
Plan to share fair trade chocolate eggs for Easter from CRS/SERRV:
Family Reflection: John 8:1-11
Discuss when you were shown mercy instead of condemnation.
Lord, unravel our compulsion to condemn, judge and isolate ourselves from one another and ultimately from you. Help us to see the great things you have done for us, so our hearts are filled with joy. May we look forward to what lays ahead, the newness of life now and Your eternal embrace forever. In your dear name Jesus, we pray. 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 March 7, 2016 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.