March 19, 2017: Third Sunday of Lent
Catholic Social Teaching: Solidarity
Only the recognition of human dignity can make possible the common and personal growth of everyone (cf. Jas 2:1-9). To stimulate this kind of growth it is necessary in particular to help the least, effectively ensuring conditions of equal opportunity for men and women and guaranteeing an objective equality between the different social classes before the law.
Also in relations between peoples and States, conditions of equality and parity are prerequisites for the authentic progress of the international community. Despite the steps taken in this direction, it must not forget that there still exist many inequalities and forms of dependence.
Together with equality in the recognition of the dignity of each person and of every people there must also be an awareness that it will be possible to safeguard and promote human dignity only if this is done as a community, by the whole of humanity. Only through the mutual action of individuals and peoples sincerely concerned for the good of all men and women can a genuine universal brotherhood be attained; otherwise, the persistence of conditions of serious disparity and inequality will make us all poorer. (145) Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
First Reading: Exodus 17:3-7
Psalm: 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9
Second Reading: Romans 5:1-2, 5-8
Gospel: John 4:5-42
Catechism of the Catholic Church
“If you knew the gift of God!”7 The wonder of prayer is revealed beside the well where we come seeking water: there, Christ comes to meet every human being. It is he who first seeks us and asks us for a drink. Jesus thirsts; his asking arises from the depths of God’s desire for us. Whether we realize it or not, prayer is the encounter of God’s thirst with ours. God thirsts that we may thirst for him. (2560)
From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Third Sunday of Lent, Cycle A
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:
The Face of God, progressively revealed in the history of salvation, shines in its fullness in the Face of Jesus Christ crucified and risen from the dead. God is Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; truly distinct and truly one, because God is an infinite communion of love. God’s gratuitous love for humanity is revealed, before anything else, as love springing from the Father, from whom everything draws its source; as the free communication that the Son makes of this love, giving himself anew to the Father and giving himself to mankind; as the ever new fruitfulness of divine love that the Holy Spirit pours forth into the hearts of men (cf. Rom 5:5).
By his words and deeds, and fully and definitively by his death and resurrection, Jesus reveals to humanity that God is Father and that we are all called by grace to become his children in the Spirit (cf. Rom 8:15; Gal 4:6), and therefore brothers and sisters among ourselves. It is for this reason that the Church firmly believes that “the key, the centre and the purpose of the whole of man’s history is to be found in her Lord and Master”.(31)
For complete text visit: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/justpeace/documents/rc_pc_justpeace_doc_20060526_compendio-dott-soc_en.html
If we really follow Jesus, we can easily leave behind what we think supposedly gives us life. The woman left behind her water jar to share the Good News. Water the life blood for people living in the desert. Yet in faith she trusted to see her greater immediate need was for faith. Faith to sustain her life, not perfection of mores. For the past comes only as a step to the present where we leave behind abundance of needs. A surrender to the possessiveness of needs, where we spin in self-centeredness, to realize we must engage others in a collective journey. Moving behind bucketful options, to the sip of a cup for starting a legacy.
Boundaries, self-imposed from following systematic jargon without question to limit our interaction with the spread of humanity only imposes suffocating limits, morphing vision into myopic understanding of our existence. To venture beyond boundaries is a prophetic witness of God’s presence in our lives. An exclamation of His ever presence waiting to sustain in the harshness of imposed division. A place where hearts softened by God’s comforting voice see the works done to erase lines of division and build on dialogue of hopeful communication. A hope that does not disappoint ourselves or others we freely share our hope with. The process of encounter, telling our story for it to be imagined by another to blossom faith as their story. A story repeated in substance, embellished with personal punctuation.
The meeting of the women at the well and Jesus should have never happened socially, culturally and politically. But the disciples were not there to infringe on the opportunity. The women most likely ostracized by the community, ventured forth without other community members willing to accompany her. Not a chance meeting, but a meeting orchestrated by the Spirit letting two unequals in societal realms start a dialogue, leading to transformation, embellishing trust to stay in the company of one another. A story of life, a story of faith, a story of hope.
Individual Reflection: Psalm 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9
Where do you see someone with a hardened heart? Pray for them and if possible dialogue with them in compassion.
Family Reflection: Exodus 17:3-7
Have each family member stop grumbling this week and proactively address concerns.
Prayer: Communion Antiphon Third Week of Lent Cycle A
“For anyone who drinks it, says the Lord, the water I shall give will become in him a spring welling up to eternal life.”
Lord left your water be a refreshing stream welling up in us so we have the courage to dialogue beyond imposed boundaries and venture forth to proclaim hope. In your name, dear Jesus, 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 March 8, 2017 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.