October 11, 2015: Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Catholic Social Teaching: Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
A basic moral test is how our most vulnerable members are faring. In a society marred by deepening divisions between rich and poor, our tradition recalls the story of the Last Judgment (Mt 25:31-46) and instructs us to put the needs of the poor and vulnerable first.
Themes from Catholic Social Teaching, by USCCB
First Reading: Wisdom 7:7-11
Psalm: 90: 12-13, 14-15, 16-17
Second Reading: Hebrews 4:12-13
Gospel: Mark 10:17-30
Catechism of the Catholic Church
Jesus enjoins his disciples to prefer him to everything and everyone, and bids them “renounce all that [they have]” for his sake and that of the Gospel. Shortly before his passion he gave them the example of the poor widow of Jerusalem who, out of her poverty, gave all that she had to live on. The precept of detachment from riches is obligatory for entrance into the Kingdom of heaven. (2544)
From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church: no references this week
Jesus desires we follow Him. A process of acknowledging Jesus as the Good Teacher who teaches us the practicality of living God’s commandments beyond knowing their definitive concepts to actualizing their positive attributes. We must fathom the commandments not for holy self-righteousness, but for the sake of the kingdom. Ultimately, on the path to follow Jesus, He demands, out of love for us, that we discard the baggage of our soul that fractures us from Him. So our treasure is in heaven and does not tether us to grasping on to false props in life to separate us from what Jesus prioritizes. Do we prioritize the poor as Jesus prioritizes the poor? What possessions do we need to shed, possessions comprising a woven web of our material goods and attitudes? We must stop killing by oppression in laws and social structures or reign of terror by individuals and nations trusting in armaments of metal and media. We must not steal by selfishly hoarding God’s gifts to deny others the means of existence. We must not bear false witness to consumerism and dominance, but speak the truth in witness to the Gospel. We must not covet by pride and dispel boasting that shreds modesty.
Questions and thoughts to ponder hopefully help us to identify secular lures baiting us to trivialize our walk with Jesus. We must realize to walk away from following Jesus will ultimately only make us sad as possessions rot and incessantly seeking a new thrill is constantly like balloons deflating. When following Jesus, we must ask for the grace to understand it is not what we appeared to have lost in not seeking material wealth, lofty positions, excessive personal pleasure, but the hundred times more we gain in the present age and the age to come. The peace building bridges not constructing walls, sharing Gospel hope not fostering hate, including people in the human family, not slamming the door in their face. A procession in realizing what we have is all a gift from God. We own nothing, only use it with the work of our hands in service to feel blessed.
Individual Reflection: Wisdom 7:7-11
Give a note of gratitude to someone that imparted wisdom in your life. How will you share that wisdom with others?
Family Reflection: Mark 10:17-30
What are three possessions the family might sell or give away to live more simply and in greater solidarity with the poor and vulnerable in the human family?
Prayer: October is the Month of the Rosary. The following reflection is adapted from Praying the Rosary by Megan McKenna
The Glorious Mysteries: Contemplating the Risen One
Raising of Jesus from the Dead
Resurrection to blot out the darkness of the passion, belief that life is stronger than death, justice and mercy stronger than evil and hate, with love overriding all attempts to marginalize. Realizing an empty tomb makes the Gospel alive in the community, there is no rich, no poor, no slave, no free, no man, no woman, no Jew, no Gentile, since all are bound together in faith with the Risen Lord.
How must we shed our fears and take Jesus’ words , “ Do not be afraid” into our communities, so the Gospel is not petrified words but alive in action?
Ascending, Jesus got out of the disciples’ way, gave them responsibility and privilege of living as his witnesses in the world to overcome any sense of loss. Leaving the disciples to live with grace, paradox and hope and lived into every moment of unfolding history.
Jesus’ parting gesture invoked a blessing on the disciples. What blessings provide you joy, offer hope, as you live as Jesus’ disciple?
The Spirit speaks, sings, whispers, enlightens, frees, instills courage, gives meaning, opens our eyes and ears, penetrates, transforms and empowers if we hear Jesus’ words, “Be not afraid” and let the Spirit accentuate our lives. An unquenchable flame hearing, believing and putting the Word into practice for disciples following in the mission of Jesus.
How does the gift of the Spirit remind you that there are no self-created boundaries, no borders where the Gospel is not applicable because the Spirit is about communication, dialogue, understanding, communion, diversity and unity to draw people together?
Assumption of Mary
Mary is included in the group of disciples that hears and obeys the word of God. She belongs to Jesus’ new family that is not based on blood ties, biology, race or nation, but on obedience, belief and a share of his sufferings and so in his glory. The more essential mark of community was they were of one accord and devoted to prayer.
What can we do to obey Christ’s mandate to go into the world with Good News of forgiveness and mercy, bringing the truth and peace of God to those who are most in need of Jesus’ compassionate new family?
Coronation of Mary
Mary’s response to Elizabeth offers a prophetic cry, a prelude to the Gospel’s social, political and economic upheaval, a reversal of values, overturning structures and rising up of the poor. To come to that realization, required Mary’s initial affirmation and a lifetime of choices in a matrix of faith, obedience and endurance, not a worldly crown found in the places of power on earth.
What calls you to be prophetic today?
Adapted from Praying the Rosary by Megan McKenna
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, October 8, 2015 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.