Speak Lord: Just One

justice

The Responsorial Psalm at Mass tomorrow, the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time,  is a song in celebration of the Lord who cares for his creation, and especially the poor…

Praise the Lord, who raises the pooror Alleluia!

Praise, O servants of the Lord,
praise the name of the Lord!
May the name of the Lord be blessed
both now and for evermore!

Praise the Lord, who raises the poor or Alleluia!

High above all nations is the Lord,
above the heavens his glory.
Who is like the Lord, our God,
who has risen on high to his throne
yet stoops from the heights to look down,
to look down upon heaven and earth?

Praise the Lord, who raises the poor or Alleluia!

From the dust he lifts up the lowly,
from the dungheap he raises the poor
to set him in the company of princes,
yes, with the princes of his people.

Praise the Lord, who raises the poor or Alleluia!

Psalm 112:1-2,4-8

It is very easy for us to spiritualise poverty – and certainly poverty exists in very many forms. But especially offensive are those forms which are institutionalised and imposed upon others, impoverishing them, and depriving them of that which God intends.

In the beginning God entrusted the earth and its resources to the common stewardship of mankind to take care of them, master them by labour, and enjoy their fruits. The goods of creation are destined for the whole human race. However, the earth is divided up among men to assure the security of their lives, endangered by poverty and threatened by violence. The appropriation of property is legitimate for guaranteeing the freedom and dignity of persons and for helping each of them to meet his basic needs and the needs of those in his charge. It should allow for a natural solidarity to develop between men.

The right to private property, acquired or received in a just way, does not do away with the original gift of the earth to the whole of mankind. The universal destination of goods remains primordial, even if the promotion of the common good requires respect for the right to private property and its exercise.

In his use of things man should regard the external goods he legitimately owns not merely as exclusive to himself but common to others also, in the sense that they can benefit others as well as himself.”Gaudium et Spes 69.1 The ownership of any property makes its holder a steward of Providence, with the task of making it fruitful and communicating its benefits to others, first of all his family.

Goods of production – material or immaterial – such as land, factories, practical or artistic skills, oblige their possessors to employ them in ways that will benefit the greatest number. Those who hold goods for use and consumption should use them with moderation, reserving the better part for guests, for the sick and the poor.

Political authority has the right and duty to regulate the legitimate exercise of the right to ownership for the sake of the common good

In economic matters, respect for human dignity requires the practice of the virtue of temperance, so as to moderate attachment to this world’s goods; the practice of the virtue of justice, to preserve our neighbour’s rights and render him what is his due; and the practice of solidarity, in accordance with the golden rule and in keeping with the generosity of the Lord, who “though he was rich, yet for your sake . . . became poor so that by his poverty, you might become rich.” (2 Cor, 8.9)

Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2402-2405

  • What act of solidarity with the poor might you take today? To be a steward of providence?

Honte à celui qui ne se révolte pas contre l’injustice sociale (Shame on those who do not rise against social injustice), painting by Jules Grandjouan. Musée d’histoire de Nante. (c) 2016, Allen Morris.

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