Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Matthew 21, 33-45 + CSDC and CV
(CV 34a) Charity in truth places man before the astonishing experience of gift. Gratuitousness is present in our lives in many different forms, which often go unrecognized because of a purely consumerist and utilitarian view of life. The human being is made for gift, which expresses and makes present his transcendent dimension. Sometimes modern man is wrongly convinced that he is the sole author of himself, his life and society. This is a presumption that follows from being selfishly closed in upon himself, and it is a consequence — to express it in faith terms — of original sin.
CSDC 99. In this regard, in 1967, Pope Paul VI establishes the Pontifical Commission “Iustitia et Pax”, thus fulfilling the wishes of the Council Fathers who considered it “most opportune that an organism of the Universal Church be set up in order that both the justice and love of Christ toward the poor might be developed everywhere. The role of such an organism would be to stimulate the Catholic community to promote progress in needy regions and international social justice”. By initiative of Pope Paul VI, beginning in 1968, the Church celebrates the first day of the year as the World Day of Peace. This same Pontiff started the tradition of writing annual Messages that deal with the theme chosen for each World Day of Peace. These Messages expand and enrich the corpus of the Church's social doctrine.
Notes:  Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes, 90: AAS 58 (1966), 1112.
 "Hear another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a hedge around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a tower. Then he leased it to tenants and went on a journey.  When vintage time drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants to obtain his produce.  But the tenants seized the servants and one they beat, another they killed, and a third they stoned.  Again he sent other servants, more numerous than the first ones, but they treated them in the same way.  Finally, he sent his son to them, thinking, 'They will respect my son.'  But when the tenants saw the son, they said to one another, 'This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and acquire his inheritance.'  They seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him.  What will the owner of the vineyard do to those tenants when he comes?"  They answered him, "He will put those wretched men to a wretched death and lease his vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the proper times."  Jesus said to them, "Did you never read in the scriptures: 'The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes'?  Therefore, I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit.  (The one who falls on this stone will be dashed to pieces; and it will crush anyone on whom it falls.)"  When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they knew that he was speaking about them.  And although they were attempting to arrest him, they feared the crowds, for they regarded him as a prophet.
CSDC 449. At the beginning of the New Millennium, the poverty of billions of men and women is “the one issue that most challenges our human and Christian consciences”. Poverty poses a dramatic problem of justice; in its various forms and with its various effects, it is characterized by an unequal growth that does not recognize the “equal right of all people to take their seat ‘at the table of the common banquet' “. Such poverty makes it impossible to bring about that full humanism which the Church hopes for and pursues so that persons and peoples may “be more”  and live in conditions that are more human. The fight against poverty finds a strong motivation in the option or preferential love of the Church for the poor. In the whole of her social teaching the Church never tires of emphasizing certain fundamental principles of this teaching, first and foremost, the universal destination of goods. Constantly reaffirming the principle of solidarity, the Church's social doctrine demands action to promote “the good of all and of each individual, because we are all really responsible for all”. The principle of solidarity, even in the fight against poverty, must always be appropriately accompanied by that of subsidiarity, thanks to which it is possible to foster the spirit of initiative, the fundamental basis of all social and economic development in poor countries. The poor should be seen “not as a problem, but as people who can become the principal builders of a new and more human future for everyone”.
Notes:  John Paul II, Message for the 2000 World Day of Peace, 14: AAS 92 (2000), 366; cf. John Paul II, Message for the 1993 World Day of Peace, 1: AAS 85 (1993), 429-430.  John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 33: AAS 80 (1988), 558; cf. Paul VI, Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio, 47: AAS 59 (1967), 280.  Paul VI, Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio, 6: AAS 59 (1967), 260; cf. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 28: AAS 80 (1988), 548-550.  Cf. Paul VI, Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio, 20-21: AAS 59 (1967), 267-268.  Cf. John Paul II, Address to the Third General Conference of Latin American Bishops, Puebla, Mexico (28 January 1979), I/8: AAS 71 (1979), 194-195.  Cf. Paul VI, Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio, 22: AAS 59 (1967), 268.  John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 38: AAS 80 (1988), 566.  Cf. Paul VI, Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio, 55: AAS 59 (1967), 284; John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 44: AAS 80 (1988), 575-577.  John Paul II, Message for the World Day of Peace 2000, 14: AAS 92 (2000), 366.
[Initials and Abbreviations.- CSDC: Pontifical Council for Justice And Peace, Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church; - SDC: Social Doctrine of the Church; - CV: Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate (Charity in truth)]