Not Enough to Go Around?
There are those who would have you think there is not enough to go around. Truth is, out global community, which will hit 7 billion any day now, does produce enough for all. We must learn how to better share our resources (or we'll end up like these pups, waiting for the one tree...)
Our Faith and Economic Realities: What is Jesus Asking of Us?
Fr. Rick Malloy, S.J., Ph.D.
In the next few weeks, as we near the end of this liturgical Year A, we will hear the great challenges to Love and do Justice that appear in the final Chapters of Matthew’s Gospel. “The greatest among you must be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” (Matt 23:11-12). “And the king will say to them in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me.' ” (Matt 25: 40).
What moves in our hearts and minds when we hear these words of Jesus and then ponder the economic realities of our age?
On Oct 16 2011, Nick Kristof reported in the New York Times that:
* The 400 wealthiest Americans have a greater combined net worth than the bottom 150 million Americans.
* The top 1 percent of Americans possess more wealth than the entire bottom
* In the Bush expansion from 2002 to 2007, 65 percent of economic gains went to the richest 1 percent.
Here are some other factoids to get us thinking.
* 22% of children in America live in poverty.
* 15.1% of Americans live in poverty. That’s 46.2 million people.
* According to the U.S. Government, the poverty line is $22,314 for a family of four.
* Business Week noted: “The Pew Research Center said its recent polling shows that a majority of Americans -- for the first time in 15 years of being surveyed on the question -- oppose more government spending to help the poor. The deep budget cuts by the U.S. House earlier this year included programs that helped the poor.”
* Globally, 80% of Planet earth lives on less than $10 a day.
* Across our planet, 21,000 children die each day from preventable causes
SOME SELECTIONS FROM CATHOLIC SOCIAL TEACHING.
“There also exist sinful inequalities that affect millions of men and women. These are in open contradiction of the Gospel” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1938).
“The equal dignity of human persons requires the effort to reduce excessive social and economic inequalities” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1947).
“The needs of the poor take priority over the desires of the rich; the rights of workers over the maximization of profits; the preservation of the environment over uncontrolled industrial expansion; the production to meet social needs over production for military purposes” (Economic Justice for All, #94)
“The way society responds to the needs of the poor through its public policies is the litmus test of its justice or injustice” (Economic Justice for All, #123).
“Those who are more influential because they have greater share of goods and common services should feel responsible for the weaker and be ready to share with them all they possess... the church feels called to take her stand beside the poor, to discern the justice of their requests and to help satisfy them, without losing sight of the good of groups in the context of the common good” (On Social Concern, #39)