Peace & Justice

This is the blog of the Commission on Peace and Justice for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, New York.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Building Peace with Justice

Building Peace with Justice is a brief, weekly bulletin reflection on Catholic social teaching written by members of a Rochester Diocese Public Policy sub-committee. Here are two reflections for October.

October 11
In our gospel reading today, the disciples are astonished that the rich man’s successful personal life and good behavior are not enough to grant him eternal life. Jesus loves the rich man but reminds him and the disciples that eternal life is granted by God alone.

Reflection: Catholic social teaching reminds us that our basic human dignity is derived from our status as sons and daughters of God, created in God’s image. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as our own church leaders, consider health care to be a basic human right, not a benefit given only to people who have achieved worldly success or fit other narrow criteria. Are we willing to work towards more universal healthcare coverage even if it means some sacrifice on our part? Or, like the rich man, are we afraid of what we might have to give up?

October 18

Jesus reminds us through Mark’s Gospel that “whoever wants to be great will be the servant of all.” In today’s world we are reminded often of the wide disparity between the rich and the poor. In his New Years 2009 Address, Fighting Poverty to Build Peace, Pope Benedict XVI states that “every form of externally imposed poverty has at its root a lack of respect for the transcendent dignity of the human person.”

Action: Get to know the poor in your midst. What are their needs? What are their names? Pray for them. Look for ways to serve those in need around you.