April 17, 2016: Fourth Sunday of Easter
Catholic Social Teaching: Solidarity
Do you live your live in the spirit of addition: 1 + 1 + 1…=1n ?
Or do you live your life in the spirit of multiplication: 1 x 1 x 1…=1 ?
First Reading: Acts 13: 14, 43-52
Psalm: 100:1-2, 3, 5
Second Reading: Revelation 7:9, 14b-17
Gospel: John 10:27-30
Catechism of the Catholic Church
All religious, whether exempt or not, take their place among the collaborators of the diocesan bishop in his pastoral duty. From the outset of the work of evangelization, the missionary “planting” and expansion of the Church require the presence of the religious life in all its forms. “History witnesses to the outstanding service rendered by religious families in the propagation of the faith and in the formation of new Churches: from the ancient monastic institutions to the medieval orders, all the way to the more recent congregations.” (927) From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Fourth Sunday of Easter, Cycle C
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church: No references this week
We are the Lord’s people, the flock He tends. The times when we wander afar in vain pursuits, closed from the grace of God, yet the Lord seeks us out in His enduring kindness. The Shepherd finds the lost sheep and mercifully returns them to the comfort and support in the sheepfold. As part of the herd, one of the proverbial ninety-nine sheep, we hear the Shepherd’s voice in our common language of faith…BAH, BAH. We are blessed, alive and must live humbly. Blessed in knowing no one can take us out of the Lord’s loving hands or away from the hands of our Creator. Because the Lord’s passion for the multitudes of every nation, race, people and tongue, we hunger and thirst no more. Alive, full of joy, we humbly embrace life knowing our lives came forth from Divine providence not our own manipulations. We believe, so our actions reflect thanksgiving and honor the Lord by the way we live our lives in all we do. Lives of belief, rooted in service to support the lowly, challenged sheep in the herd, moving beyond the self-interest of grazing in the best pastures and trampling other sheep to get there. And if we truly live what we speak, BAH is reflected in our lives lived not for prestige, notoriety and puffing our ego, but to honor our Shepherd. For in honoring Him, we say thank you across the spectrum of gratitude, for the gift of life, a meaningful life, the opportunity to serve, the blessing of supportive companions on the journey, the Church and richness of the Sacraments and ultimately our eternal salvation. An expression of honor not to live with timidity, a lukewarmness, but a bold expression offered in compassion as discipleship welcoming and affirming the diverse herd, those in our communal pasture, those down the road or in a far off ravine, we cannot see. For as the Lord seeks to unite all to the Father, we hear His voice and follow Him saying BAH, BAH in affirmation of knowing the Shepherd and His participation in the Divine plan.
Individual Reflection: John 10:27-30
Share and integrates these Earth Day resources from USCCB, Justice, Peace and Human Development (Notes for Neighbors email newsletter) in you parish:
10 Ways You Can Celebrate Earth Day (April 22)
Earth Day is the perfect time to help Catholics in your area respond to Pope Francis’ call to “be ‘protectors’ of creation”!
- Get Catholic Climate Covenant’s free, downloadable Earth Day 2016 Program Guide.
- With family or friends, pray this Laudato Si’ prayer in English and Spanish.
- Watch the video on Care for God’s Creation from the CST101 video series by CRS and USCCB.
- Use these resources for liturgy and preaching on the Sunday before or after Earth Day to call attention to our role in caring for God’s creation
- Learn how local community organizations, including those funded by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, are addressing environmental issues. Join their efforts!
- Gift Green Street Park or Drop by Drop to your parish’s religious education program or school. Both of these children’s books are about kids caring for creation.
- Gather with a group of friends and reflect on Laudato Si’ using USCCB’s discussion guide in English and Spanish.
- Share this Laudato Si’ bullet insert, in English and Spanish, in your parish.
- Get inspired by what others are doing to Act Together to care for creation.
- Advocate! Participate in this current action alert.
Family Reflection: Psalm 100:1-2, 3, 5
As a family review resources at Catholic Climate Covenant and utilize ideas to reduce your carbon footprint: http://www.catholicclimatecovenant.org/
Prayer: This prayer from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is based on Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home
Father of all,
Creator and ruler of the universe,
You entrusted your world to us as a gift.
Help us to care for it and all people,
that we may live in right relationship–
with one another,
and with creation.
Christ our Lord,
both divine and human,
You lived among us and died for our sins.
Help us to imitate your love for the human family
by recognizing that we are all connected—
to our brothers and sisters around the world,
to those in poverty impacted by environmental devastation,
and to future generations.
giver of wisdom and love,
You breathe life in us and guide us.
Help us to live according to your vision,
stirring to action the hearts of all—
individuals and families,
communities of faith,
and civil and political leaders.
Triune God, help us to hear the cry of those in poverty, and the cry of the earth, so that we may together care for our common home.
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 April 5, 2016 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.