February 5, 2017: Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Catholic Social Teaching: Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
…. they discredit those who raise questions, they constantly point out the mistakes of others and they are obsessed by appearances. Their hearts are open only to the limited horizon of their own immanence and interests, and as a consequence they neither learn from their sins nor are they genuinely open to forgiveness. This is a tremendous corruption disguised as a good. We need to avoid it by making the Church constantly go out from herself, keeping her mission focused on Jesus Christ, and her commitment to the poor. God save us from a worldly Church with superficial spiritual and pastoral trappings! This stifling worldliness can only be healed by breathing in the pure air of the Holy Spirit who frees us from self-centredness cloaked in an outward religiosity bereft of God. Let us not allow ourselves to be robbed of the Gospel! (97)
How many wars take place within the people of God and in our different communities! In our neighbourhoods and in the workplace, how many wars are caused by envy and jealousy, even among Christians! Spiritual worldliness leads some Christians to war with other Christians who stand in the way of their quest for power, prestige, pleasure and economic security. Some are even no longer content to live as part of the greater Church community but stoke a spirit of exclusivity, creating an “inner circle”. Instead of belonging to the whole Church in all its rich variety, they belong to this or that group which thinks itself different or special. (98)
The Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis
First Reading: Isaiah 58:7-10
Psalm: 112: 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
Second Reading: 1st Corinthians 2:1-5
Gospel: Matthew 5:13-16
Catechism of the Catholic Church
The origin and purpose of mission. the Lord’s missionary mandate is ultimately grounded in the eternal love of the Most Holy Trinity: “The Church on earth is by her nature missionary since, according to the plan of the Father, she has as her origin the mission of the Son and the Holy Spirit.”341 The ultimate purpose of mission is none other than to make men share in the communion between the Father and the Son in their Spirit of love. (850).
From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Cycle A
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:
In the Old Testament a twofold attitude towards economic goods and riches is found. On one hand, an attitude of appreciation sees the availability of material goods as necessary for life. Abundance — not wealth or luxury — is sometimes seen as a blessing from God. In Wisdom Literature, poverty is described as a negative consequence of idleness and of a lack of industriousness (cf. Prov 10:4), but also as a natural fact (cf. Prov 22:2). On the other hand, economic goods and riches are not in themselves condemned so much as their misuse. The prophetic tradition condemns fraud, usury, exploitation and gross injustice, especially when directed against the poor (cf. Is 58:3-11; Jer 7:4-7; Hos 4:1-2; Am 2:6-7; Mic 2:1-2). This tradition, however, although looking upon the poverty of the oppressed, the weak and the indigent as an evil, also sees in the condition of poverty a symbol of the human situation before God, from whom comes every good as a gift to be administered and share. (323)
For complete text visit: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/justpeace/documents/rc_pc_justpeace_doc_20060526_compendio-dott-soc_en.html
How do you demonstrate the Spirit and power of God is among us? We must not hope oppression, false accusation, malicious speech, the hungry and afflicted disappear. The prophetic word of the Lord defines we remove them from our midst. Remove, to take away, eliminate impels action on our part, not passive observation. Our faith only imparts light when we engage amidst the inequities of our world. Otherwise we foster darkness, contribute to gloom and fail to grasp the intense light of midday God offers us if we only participate in HIs creation.
With graciousness, lavishly accompanying the poor to empower not perpetuate poverty, an enduring justice prevails. Salt adding flavor seasons humanity with a zest for life stirred into the milieu of society, unmoved by evil. We must not allow the granules of salt to be trampled or broadcast, diluting its impact and losing its collective taste. Salt also acts as a preservative to retain ages of prophetic wisdom as a foundation to construct a more just society. Living as salt of the earth, we must approach life with a simple, humble demeanor flavoring our path of life with the seasoning of faith, not self-serving , self-acclaiming proclamations. A trusting heart realizes light illuminates darkness’ sinister motives to fracture unity, harmony and peace. Some may fear light, for they transcend into brilliance, the spot light radiating not on themselves but the heat of intense issues. It might be easier to live faith in the shadows. But God desires we not be just a good person. He also wants us also to be a just person, for our light of faith to shine before others. Faith molded by prayer unfolding into deeds. Faith transformed by the Word, leading to action. For only when we live our faith as a shinning light, not to illuminate ourselves, but radiate God’s grace, do we glorify our heavenly Father. Jesus says to HIs disciples, “You are the salt of the earth, You are the light of the world.” Not for someone else of a previous or future era or in another place, but you right here and right now.
Individual Reflection: Matthew 5:13-16
Visit the grocery store and look at all the various kinds of salt. Buy several varieties that are new to you and try them in your culinary dishes. Reflecting on the various kinds of salt, think of the various ways people of faith are salt in the world and how they are complementary to foster light amidst darkness.
Family Reflection: Isaiah 58:7-10
Host a FEED Supper for your family and friends:
Prayer: Prayer after Communion for Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
O God, who have willed that we be partakers in the one Bread and one Chalice, grant us we pray, so to live that, made one in Christ, we may joyfully bear fruit for the salvation of the world. 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.
Social Ministry Resources Engaging Parishes: Monthly and liturgical seasons resources for use with parish websites, bulletins and newsletters
List one or two upcoming events, legislative action alerts or social justice websites
By Barb Born January 25, 2017The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.