July 3, 2016: Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Catholic Social Teaching: Solidarity
“…At the core of the virtue of solidarity is the pursuit of justice and peace…”
Themes from Catholic Social Teaching, USCCB
First Reading: Isaiah 66:10-14c
Psalm: 66:1-3, 4-5, 6-7, 16, 20
Second Reading: Galatians 6:14-18
Gospel Acclamation/Alleluia: Colossians 3:15a, 16a
Gospel: Luke 10:1-12, 17-20
Catechism of the Catholic Church
Before Pilate, Christ proclaims that he “has come into the world, to bear witness to the truth.” The Christian is not to “be ashamed then of testifying to our Lord.” In situations that require witness to the faith, the Christian must profess it without equivocation, after the example of St. Paul before his judges. We must keep “a clear conscience toward God and toward men.” (2471)
From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Cycle C
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:
The promise of peace that runs through the entire Old Testament finds its fulfilment in the very person of Jesus. Peace, in fact, is the messianic attribute par excellence, in which all other beneficial effects of salvation are included. The Hebrew word “shalom” expresses this fullness of meaning in its etymological sense of “completeness” (cf. Is 9:5ff; Mic 5:1-4). The kingdom of the Messiah is precisely the kingdom of peace (cf. Job 25:2; Ps 29:11; 37:11; 72:3,7; 85:9,11; 119:165; 125:5, 128:6; 147:14; Song 8:10; Is 26:3,12; 32:17f.; 52:7; 54:10; 57:19; 60:17; 66:12; Hag 2:9; Zech 9:10; et al.). Jesus “is our peace” (Eph 2:14). He has broken down the dividing wall of hostility among people, reconciling them with God (cf.Eph 2:14-16). This is the very effective simplicity with which Saint Paul indicates the radical motivation spurring Christians to undertake a life and a mission of peace.
On the eve of his death, Jesus speaks of his loving relation with the Father and the unifying power that this love bestows upon his disciples. It is a farewell discourse which reveals the profound meaning of his life and can be considered a summary of all his teaching. The gift of peace is the seal on his spiritual testament: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you” (Jn 14:27). The words of the Risen Lord will not be any different; every time that he meets his disciples they receive from him the greeting and gift of peace: “Peace be with you” (Lk 24:36; Jn 20:19,21,26). (491)
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)
In his preaching, Jesus teaches that we should appreciate work. He himself, having “become like us in all things, devoted most of the years of his life on earth to manual work at the carpenter’s bench” [ 573] in the workshop of Joseph (cf. Mt 13:55; Mk 6:3), to whom he was obedient (cf. Lk 2:51). Jesus condemns the behaviour of the useless servant, who hides his talent in the ground (cf. Mt 25:14-30) and praises the faithful and prudent servant whom the Master finds hard at work at the duties entrusted to him (cf. Mt 24:46). He describes his own mission as that of working: “My Father is working still, and I am working” (Jn 5:17), and his disciples as workers in the harvest of the Lord, which is the evangelization of humanity (cf. Mt 9:37-38). For these workers, the general principle according to which “the labourer deserves his wages” (Lk 10:7) applies. They are therefore authorized to remain in the houses in which they have been welcomed, eating and drinking what is offered to them (cf. Lk 10:7). (259)
If the peace of Christ controls our hearts, we cease to be self-reliant, boastful of our accomplishments, antagonistic. For then we can only boast in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Beyond the hand hewn wood, to the meaning ingrained of surrender, sacrifice, victory over injustice, eternal rejoicing. Word’s defining Christ’s mission transposed from the visual reality of the cross become richly dwelling in us. Our eyes see the harvest of abundance we have received and the vast harvest of abundance to share. An endeavor not on our own, but the camaraderie of other pilgrims supported by the strength of the cross. Sharing the cross rests not in over preparation, fretting over the right words, the perfectly timed situation, but in the daily lived experiences of every town and place. With the meekness of a lamb, even when menacing confrontations may appear on the horizon, the cross defuses hostility, anxiety by proclaiming peace. How is that possible when fear says run and hide instead of embracing the situation with the strength of the cross? How is that possible when we feel ill equipped without resources and provisions of human origins? But without sandals metaphorically says we are in touch with creation and the Creator in ways the world may not understand and we can only approach in the freedom of faith. Trust rules our hearts instead of the temptation to flee to our caves of contentment. Sheltered from other believers and the world, the quarters of the proverbial cave would be so small, no room even for the cross, so we would have discarded it by the side of the road to absorb the elements of time.
Participating in the mission of Jesus should not leave us bewildered, burned out or even alienated from people not attracted to the cross, but the spirit of rejoicing should absorb our soul. For the ultimate paradigm rests in our names written in heaven, not how many people sponsored for the sacraments, number of cans collected for the food drive, the success of a fundraiser dinner or the number of presentations we make on social concerns. A true sense of mission comes forth in our rejoicing versus actions done in busyness from a human inspired agenda, lacking the cross, lacking peace, void of the word of Christ in Gospel ambivalence. Mission without message misses the message of the cross and never envisions the potential of the resurrection. Living the message of Christ with the message of the cross may appear a way of rejection, the stings and venom of life, but the paradox continually unfolds with grace. Peace begins to wedge out hate. Light illuminates through a crevice. Hope nudges doubt. Love buffers neglect. A journey to never walk alone, only in partnership, with Jesus and those rejoicing in the cross beyond the stigma of sorrow, making it to the ultimate message of the resurrection.
Individual Reflection: Galatians 6:14-18
July 3rd is normally the feast day of St Thomas. How can his transformation from doubt to belief inspire you to more deeply believe in the message of the cross?
Family Reflection: Luke 10:1-12, 17-20
Share a story about when you shared in the mission of Jesus. How did the experience shape your faith?
Prayer: Hold a cross in your hands and silently ponder its meaning to you.
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 June 19, 2016 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.