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June 23, 2020
Drug use in prisons
June 23, 2020

Understanding our mission

By Leela Ramdeen, Chair, CCSJ & Director, CREDI

“When Jesus wants to teach us how a Christian should be, he tells us very little, but he shows people by feeding the hungry and welcoming the stranger….The works of mercy are precisely the path of love that Jesus teaches us in continuity with this great love of God”

(Pope Francis)

At Pentecost, Archbishop Jason Gordon assured the faithful that “the same wind of God that breathed breath into creation, breathes upon us today and for the missioning of Catholic families as domestic Church.”

In many ways, today’s gospel, Matthew 10:37–42, teaches us what is important as we journey forth on mission—as individuals, families, community, nation, and world.

Meditate on Jesus’ clear words in this gospel to understand the role and nature of a disciple of Christ on mission in today’s world.

What does Jesus demand of us? I have often told people that the litmus test for me in any situation is: “What would Jesus do?”.

In today’s gospel, He tells us exactly what action He considers to be important for anyone who is on mission to proclaim the Good News: “If anyone gives so much as a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is a disciple, then I tell you solemnly, he will most certainly not lose his reward.”

Read this gospel in conjunction with Matthew 25:31–46.  We will be judged on the deeds that we do in our lifetime.

It’s only by renouncing ourselves/dying to self and allowing the Holy Spirit to flow in and through us; only by welcoming into our hearts Jesus and His Father who sent Him, will we be able to discern what is required of us as disciples.

So, while we may love our parents and children, we will not be “worthy” of Jesus if we “prefer” them to Him. Jesus must be at the centre of our lives. And if we are not prepared to take up our cross and follow in Jesus’s footsteps, we will not be worthy of Him.

As disciples of Christ, working in His vineyard, we cannot be indifferent to the plight of the millions who need that “cup of cold water”. In a world in which selfishness, individualism, and moral relativism threaten to overwhelm us, let us rise to the challenge that Archbishop Jason laid out for us in his column last Sunday.

“The Church domestic participates in and gives vitality and depth to the life of the Church—parish and diocesan. The Church parish nurtures and forms the domestic Church to become what it is—a community of life and love.”

Reflect on the kind of activities in which each one is engaged to ensure that the needs of the entire Body of Christ are being met.

On March 18, Pope Francis urged us to use this time of the coronavirus pandemic to rediscover the importance of small, concrete gestures of affection and care toward others.

“Sometimes we only experience a virtual form of communication with one another. Instead, we should discover a new closeness…We must rediscover the concreteness of little things, small gestures of attention we can offer those close to us, our family, our friends.

“We must understand that in small things lies our treasure. There are small acts of kindness, affection and compassion that often go unnoticed in daily life, but they are nonetheless decisive, important. For example, a hot meal, a caress, a hug, a phone call. They are familiar gestures of attention to the details of everyday life that make life meaningful and that create communion and communication among us.” (Pope Francis).

And remember His Grace’s words: “We participate in the mystical body of Christ. We, though many, form one body….Fellowship goes beyond the family to those who are in most vulnerable. This is the foundation for peace and love.”

Our Church teaches that if we are to respect the transcendent dignity of each person, we must walk with the two feet of Christian justice: works of mercy and works of social action.

Working for justice involves changing systems, structures, institutions, and public policies that are at the root cause of injustices. See our Catechism: 1928—1944.

That is why CCSJ’s mission is to be a fearless and unified voice, infused with gospel values, to eradicate social injustice, awakening social consciences, empowering the population so that together we can build a just society/world. This is what integral human development is all about.

Do not grieve or complain that you were born in a time when you can no longer see God in the flesh. He did not in fact take this privilege from you. As He says: ‘Whatever you have done to the least of my brothers, you did to me.’

—St Augustine of Hippo

CCSJ Social Justice Education Committee