Sunday Gospel reflections: Our sacred privilege

Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

Detail, fresco of the prophet Amos by Karl von Blaas, 19th century. Photo: Renata Sedmakova/Shutterstock
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Fresco of the prophet Amos by Karl von Blaas, 19th century. Photo: Renata Sedmakova/Shutterstock

I have neighbors who came here several years ago from a repressive dictatorship.

They have overcome many hurdles — learning English, finding their way in our society, and finding employment. I am impressed by their appreciation for our democracy. After they became citizens, they were eager to vote. They are politically involved. They attend meetings to learn the positions of the parties and to urge fair treatment for those who are disadvantaged. These neighbors put many of the rest of us citizens to shame.

On Sunday, we hear the prophet Amos preaching against the unjust treatment of the poor and needy.

There’s a tendency to think we can be good Christians without being politically involved, but both the Hebrew and the Christian Scriptures are full of political commentary and exhortation. These texts are the basis of Catholic social teaching. This teaching is meant to be well integrated into our lives, so that social justice issues guide our daily choices, including our politics.

In his letter to St. Timothy, St. Paul calls on the early Christians to pray for kings and all in high places. Still today, as in St. Paul’s day, many people have no choice as to who holds authority over them. We in democratic countries have the responsibility of helping guide the policies of political parties and governments toward social justice. That includes being political aware and involved and taking our right to vote seriously. Let us embrace and rejoice in this sacred privilege and call.

— Beth Porter


Readings: 

Amos 8:4-7

Psalm 113:1-2, 4-6, 7-8

1 Timothy 2:1-8

Luke 16:1-13 or Luke 16:10-13

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