Lectionary Reflections: Twenty-first Sunday of Ordinary Time [c] August 21, 2016

Engaging Faith | Fri, Aug 12, 2016

By John Bucki, S.J.
Source: Center of Concern

Twenty-first Sunday of Ordinary Time [c]

August 21, 2016


Isaiah 66:18-21

Hebrews 12:5-7, 11-13

Luke 13:22-30



August 23:  International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade & its Abolition 

August 26: Women’s Equality Day in the United States (Commemorating the 1920 passage of the 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote) 

August 28: Dream Day (Martin Luther King Jr. gave the 'I Have a Dream' speech in 1963)



We oppose hatred and destruction with goodness. We live in societies of different cultures and religions, but we are brothers and sisters.

-Pope Francis @Pontifex, 7 August 2016

All people are endowed with a rational soul and are created in God's image; they have the same nature and origin and, being redeemed by Christ, they enjoy the same divine calling and destiny; there is here a basic equality between all people and it must be given ever greater recognition. … forms of social or cultural discrimination in basic personal rights on the grounds of sex, race, color, social conditions, language or religion, must be curbed and eradicated as incompatible with God's design.

-Vatican II Council, Gaudium et Spes, 29

Respect for nature by everyone, a policy of openness to immigrants, the cancellation or significant reduction of the debt of poorer nations, the promotion of peace through dialogue and negotiation, the primacy of the rule of law: these are the priorities which the leaders of the developed nations cannot disregard. A global world is essentially a world of solidarity!

-John Paul II, Address to President George W. Bush, 23 July 2001

A society made up of different cultures must seek unity in respect. 

-Pope Francis @Pontifex, 10 August 2016

When workers come from another country or district and contribute to the economic advancement of a nation or region by their labor, all discrimination as regards wages and working conditions must be carefully avoided…..public authorities must help them bring their families to live with them and to provide decent dwelling…and incorporated into the social life of the country or region

-Vatican II Council, Gaudium et Spes, 66.1 

Encountering and welcoming everyone, solidarity – a word that is being hidden by this culture, as if it were a bad word – solidarity and fraternity: these are what make our society truly human.

-Pope Francis, WYD in Krakow, 27 July 2013


Thoughts for Your Consideration

Our world is divided into so many groups.  War and terrorism and the fear of these things can dominate our thinking.  Our political discourse seems to be in chaos.

Isaiah reminds us that God desires to bring together people from all the nations.  Jesus tells his followers that salvation is not just for the descendants of Abraham and Sarah; it is offered to people from all the corners of the earth. In a world divided by wars, violence, dishonesty, economic inequality, discrimination, refugees, religious differences and ethnic distrust, it is fitting that the scriptures should remind us of the all-inclusive nature of God’s plan for the world.

All over our work millions of immigrants and refugees seek new lands for economic opportunities or because of violence or political difficulties in their homelands.  They often travel at great risk. They often are not welcome in their “new lands.”  Yet the Hebrew and Christian scriptures invite us to welcome the “strangers in our land.” The Spirit of Jesus invites us to put an end to the divisions that divide us by race or class or any other category. The Spirit of Jesus invites our world into a process of healing – the healing of racial, economic, and ethnic divisions – the healing of everything that divides us.

To read the rest of this reflection from John Bucki, S.J., as well as his reflection questions, faith in action links, prayers of intercession, and prayer meditations, become a member of Education for Justice:

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