Lectionary Reflection for October 7, 2012: Celebrating One Human Family

Lectionary Readings:

  • Gen 2:18-24. The creation of man and woman, their vocation to become two in one flesh and to be suitable partners for each other.
  • Heb 2:9-11. Jesus is perfected through suffering and tastes death for all. So, he is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.
  • Mark 10:2-16. Jesus prohibits divorce and remarriage and compares the kingdom of God to those who are like little children.

Thought for your consideration:

Recognizing that people are social beings the Catholic Church has always supported the traditional family as the fundamental unit of society. Through the family people have their first real experience of communion, a dynamic of intentional relationships. In this dynamic the individual recognizes their own dignity in relationship with the dignity of the family unit. In today’s first readings we hear the scriptural underpinnings for this position. We all share in the dignity of being created by God and that dignity does not get fully experiences unless we experience it with one another and the family unit gives us the opportunity to experience this interrelational dignity very intimately. Jesus very much defends this fundamental unit.

While the first reading and the Gospel support the family unit the second reading reminds us that this fundamental unit cannot be isolated from the broader world of social relationships. Through the mystery of Christ’s suffering the early church recognized that they are called to be one body, one family, brothers and sisters to one another. Through the prism of our own family we are called to recognize that humanity is one great global family. This was a point that was offered by Pope Benedict XVI in his 2008 World Day of Peace Message: The Human Family, a Community of Peace.

In this message Pope Benedict suggests that the economic values that guide our family decisions ought to be applied in a similar way to the global family.  “The family experiences authentic peace when no one lacks what is needed, and when the family patrimony—the fruit of the labor of some, the savings of others, and the active cooperation of all—is well-managed in a spirit of solidarity, without extravagance and without waste.” Similarly we ought to take into consideration applying these values or solidarity and common good to the global human family. Here Pope Benedict suggests that “efforts must also be made to ensure a prudent use of resources and an equitable distribution of wealth. In particular, the aid given to poor countries must be guided by sound economic principles, avoiding forms of waste associated principally with the maintenance of expensive bureaucracies.

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About jdgonzo73

I am a Catholic lay minister in the field of Christian ethics, Latino theology and Paulacrucian spirituality. I am currently a Doctor of Ministry student at Fordham, an ad-junct professor at Molloy College and St. John's University and the Project Coordinator with the Catholic Roundtable.
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