Wednesday, December 31, 2014

John 4, 31-38 + CSDC and CV

John 4, 31-38 + CSDC and CV

CV 71b Development will never be fully guaranteed through automatic or impersonal forces, whether they derive from the market or from international politics. Development is impossible without upright men and women, without financiers and politicians whose consciences are finely attuned to the requirements of the common good. Both professional competence and moral consistency are necessary. 

Globalization gives rise to new hopes and it poses troubling questions   

CSDC 362. Globalization gives rise to new hopes while at the same time it poses troubling questions.[749] Globalization is able to produce potentially beneficial effects for the whole of humanity. In the wake of dizzying developments in the field of telecommunications, the growth of the system of economic and financial relations has brought about simultaneously a significant reduction in the costs of communications and new communication technologies, and has accelerated the process by which commercial trade and financial transactions are expanding worldwide. In other words, the two phenomena of economic-financial globalization and technological progress have mutually strengthened each other, making the whole process of this present phase of transition extremely rapid. In analyzing the present context, besides identifying the opportunities now opening up in the era of the global economy, one also comes to see the risks connected with the new dimensions of commercial and financial relations. In fact, there are indications aplenty that point to a trend of increasing inequalities, both between advanced countries and developing countries, and within industrialized countries. The growing economic wealth made possible by the processes described above is accompanied by an increase in relative poverty. 

 Notes: [749] Cf. John Paul II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in America, 20: AAS 91 (1999), 756.

(Jn 4, 31-38) One sows and another reaps so that the sower and reaper can rejoice together 

[31] Meanwhile, the disciples urged him, "Rabbi, eat." [32] But he said to them, "I have food to eat of which you do not know." [33] So the disciples said to one another, "Could someone have brought him something to eat?" [34] Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of the one who sent me and to finish his work. [35] Do you not say, 'In four months the harvest will be here'? I tell you, look up and see the fields ripe for the harvest. [36] The reaper is already receiving his payment and gathering crops for eternal life, so that the sower and reaper can rejoice together. [37] For here the saying is verified that 'One sows and another reaps.' [38] I sent you to reap what you have not worked for; others have done the work, and you are sharing the fruits of their work."

CSDC 256. Work is part of the original state of man and precedes his fall; it is therefore not a punishment or curse. It becomes toil and pain because of the sin of Adam and Eve, who break their relationship of trust and harmony with God (cf. Gen 3:6-8). The prohibition to eat “of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Gen 2:17) reminds man that he has received everything as a gift and that he continues to be a creature and not the Creator. It was precisely this temptation that prompted the sin of Adam and Eve: “you will be like God” (Gen 3:5). They wanted absolute dominion over all things, without having to submit to the will of the Creator. From that moment, the soil becomes miserly, unrewarding, sordidly hostile (cf. Gen 4:12); only by the sweat of one's brow will it be possible to reap its fruit (cf. Gen 3:17,19). Notwithstanding the sin of our progenitors, however, the Creator's plan, the meaning of His creatures — and among these, man, who is called to cultivate and care for creation — remain unaltered.

[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)] 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

John 4, 27-30 + CSDC and CV

John 4, 27-30 + CSDC and CV

CV 71a This deviation from solid humanistic principles that a technical mindset can produce is seen today in certain technological applications in the fields of development and peace. Often the development of peoples is considered a matter of financial engineering, the freeing up of markets, the removal of tariffs, investment in production, and institutional reforms — in other words, a purely technical matter. All these factors are of great importance, but we have to ask why technical choices made thus far have yielded rather mixed results. We need to think hard about the cause.

Consumers exercise significant influence over economic realities by their free decisions 

CSDC 358. Consumers, who in many cases have a broad range of buying power well above the mere subsistence level, exercise significant influence over economic realities by their free decisions regarding whether to put their money into consumer goods or savings. In fact, the possibility to influence the choices made within the economic sector is in the hands of those who must decide where to place their financial resources. Today more than in the past it is possible to evaluate the available options not only on the basis of the expected return and the relative risk but also by making a value judgment of the investment projects that those resources would finance, in the awareness that “the decision to invest in one place rather than another, in one productive sector rather than another, is always a moral and cultural choice”.[744] 

     Notes: [744] John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus, 36: AAS 83 (1991), 839-840.

(Jn 4, 27-30) The sacrament of marriage takes up the human reality of conjugal love in all its implications

[27] At that moment his disciples returned, and were amazed that he was talking with a woman, but still no one said, "What are you looking for?" or "Why are you talking with her?" [28] The woman left her water jar and went into the town and said to the people, [29] "Come see a man who told me everything I have done. Could he possibly be the Messiah?" [30] They went out of the town and came to him.

CSDC 220. The sacrament of marriage takes up the human reality of conjugal love in all its implications and “gives to Christian couples and parents a power and a commitment to live their vocation as lay people and therefore to ‘seek the kingdom of God by engaging in temporal affairs and by ordering them according to the plan of God”'[488]. Intimately united to the Church by virtue of the sacrament that makes it a “domestic Church” or a “little Church”, the Christian family is called therefore “to be a sign of unity for the world and in this way to exercise its prophetic role by bearing witness to the Kingdom and peace of Christ, towards which the whole world is journeying”[489]. Conjugal charity, which flows from the very charity of Christ, offered through the sacrament, makes Christian spouses witnesses to a new social consciousness inspired by the Gospel and the Paschal Mystery. The natural dimension of their love is constantly purified, strengthened and elevated by sacramental grace. In this manner, besides offering each other mutual help on the path to holiness, Christian spouses become a sign and an instrument of Christ's love in the world. By their very lives they are called to bear witness to and proclaim the religious meaning of marriage, which modern society has ever greater difficulty recognizing, especially as it accepts relativistic perspectives of the natural foundation itself of the institution of marriage. 

Notes: [488] John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio, 47: AAS 74 (1982), 139; the quotation in the text is taken from Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, 31: AAS 57 (1965), 37. [489] John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio, 48: AAS 74 (1982), 140; cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1656-1657, 2204.] 

[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)] 

Monday, December 29, 2014

John 4, 16-26 + CSDC and CV

John 4, 16-26 + CSDC and CV

CV 70b But when the sole criterion of truth is efficiency and utility, development is automatically denied. True development does not consist primarily in “doing”. The key to development is a mind capable of thinking in technological terms and grasping the fully human meaning of human activities, within the context of the holistic meaning of the individual's being. Even when we work through satellites or through remote electronic impulses, our actions always remain human, an expression of our responsible freedom. Technology is highly attractive because it draws us out of our physical limitations and broadens our horizon. But human freedom is authentic only when it responds to the fascination of technology with decisions that are the fruit of moral responsibility. Hence the pressing need for formation in an ethically responsible use of technology. Moving beyond the fascination that technology exerts, we must reappropriate the true meaning of freedom, which is not an intoxication with total autonomy, but a response to the call of being, beginning with our own personal being.

Fundamental principle of subsidiarity: dignity and autonomous responsibility of the “subsidiary” subject be respected and promoted

CSDC 357. Private non-profit organizations have their own specific role to play in the economic sphere. These organizations are marked by the fearless attempt to unite efficiency in production with solidarity. In general, they are built on agreements of association and manifest a common way of thinking in the members who choose to join. The State is called to respect the nature of these organizations and to make proper use of their various features, putting into practice the fundamental principle of subsidiarity, which requires that the dignity and autonomous responsibility of the “subsidiary” subject be respected and promoted.

(Jn 4, 16-26) True worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth

[16] Jesus said to her, "Go call your husband and come back." [17] The woman answered and said to him, "I do not have a husband." Jesus answered her, "You are right in saying, 'I do not have a husband.' [18] For you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true." [19] The woman said to him, "Sir, I can see that you are a prophet. [20] Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain; but you people say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem." [21] Jesus said to her, "Believe me, woman, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. [22] You people worship what you do not understand; we worship what we understand, because salvation is from the Jews. [23] But the hour is coming, and is now here, when true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth; and indeed the Father seeks such people to worship him. [24] God is Spirit, and those who worship him must worship in Spirit and truth." [25] The woman said to him, "I know that the Messiah is coming, the one called the Anointed; when he comes, he will tell us everything." [26] Jesus said to her, "I am he,  the one who is speaking with you."  

CSDC 219. By Christ's institution, the baptized live the inherent human reality of marriage in the supernatural form of a sacrament, a sign and instrument of grace. The theme of the marriage covenant, as the meaningful expression of the communion of love between God and men and as the symbolic key to understanding the different stages of the great covenant between God and his people, is found throughout salvation history[485]. At the centre of the revelation of the divine plan of love is the gift that God makes to humanity in his Son, Jesus Christ, “the Bridegroom who loves and gives himself as the Saviour of humanity, uniting it to himself as his body. He reveals the original truth of marriage, the truth of the ‘beginning' (cf. Gen 2:24; Mt 19:5), and, freeing man from his hardness of heart, he makes man capable of realizing this truth in its entirety”[486]. It is in the spousal love of Christ for the Church, which shows its fullness in the offering made on the cross that the sacramentality of marriage originates. The grace of this sacrament conforms the love of the spouses to the love of Christ for the Church. Marriage, as a sacrament, is a covenant in love between a man and a woman[487]. 

Notes: [485] Cf. John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio, 12: AAS 74 (1982), 93: “For this reason the central word of Revelation, ‘God loves his people', is likewise proclaimed through the living and concrete word whereby a man and a woman express their conjugal love. Their bond of love becomes the image and the symbol of the covenant which unites God and his people (cf. Hos 2:21; Jer 3:6-13; Is 54). And the same sin which can harm the conjugal covenant becomes an image of the infidelity of the people to their God: idolatry is prostitution (cf. Ezek 16:25), infidelity is adultery, disobedience to the law is abandonment of the spousal love of the Lord. But the infidelity of Israel does not destroy the eternal fidelity of the Lord, and therefore the ever faithful love of God is put forward as the model of the faithful love which should exist between spouses (cf. Hos 3)”. [486] John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio, 13: AAS 74 (1982), 93-94. [487] Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes, 48: AAS 58 (1966), 1067-1069.

[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)] 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

John 4, 1-15 + CSDC and CV

Chapter 4

John 4, 1-15 + CSDC and CV

CV 70a Technological development can give rise to the idea that technology is self-sufficient when too much attention is given to the “how” questions, and not enough to the many “why” questions underlying human activity. For this reason technology can appear ambivalent. Produced through human creativity as a tool of personal freedom, technology can be understood as a manifestation of absolute freedom, the freedom that seeks to prescind from the limits inherent in things. The process of globalization could replace ideologies with technology [152], allowing the latter to become an ideological power that threatens to confine us within an a priori that holds us back from encountering being and truth. Were that to happen, we would all know, evaluate and make decisions about our life situations from within a technocratic cultural perspective to which we would belong structurally, without ever being able to discover a meaning that is not of our own making. The “technical” worldview that follows from this vision is now so dominant that truth has come to be seen as coinciding with the possible.

Notes: [152] Cf. Paul VI, Apostolic Letter Octogesima Adveniens, 29: loc. cit., 420.

The social-economic system must be marked by the twofold presence of public and private activity, including private non-profit activity  

CSDC 356. The social-economic system must be marked by the twofold presence of public and private activity, including private non-profit activity. In this way sundry decision-making and activity-planning centres come to take shape. The use of certain categories of goods, collective goods and goods meant for common utilization, cannot be dependent on mechanisms of the market,[743] nor does their use fall under the exclusive competence of the State. The State's task relative to these goods is that of making use of all social and economic initiatives promoted by intermediate bodies that produce public effects. Civil society, organized into its intermediate groups, is capable of contributing to the attainment of the common good by placing itself in a relationship of collaboration and effective complementarities with respect to the State and the market. It thus encourages the development of a fitting economic democracy. In this context, State intervention should be characterized by a genuine solidarity, which as such must never be separated from subsidiarity.

      Notes: [743] Cf. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus, 40: AAS 83 (1991), 843.

(Jn 4, 1-15) Iesus invites all to follow him because he is the first to obey God's plan of love  

[1] Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John [2] (although Jesus himself was not baptizing, just his disciples), [3] he left Judea and returned to Galilee. [4] He had to pass through Samaria. [5] So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of land that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. [6] Jacob's well was there. Jesus, tired from his journey, sat down there at the well. It was about noon. [7] A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give me a drink." [8] His disciples had gone into the town to buy food. [9] The Samaritan woman said to him, "How can you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?" (For Jews use nothing in common with Samaritans.) [10] Jesus answered and said to her, "If you knew the gift of God and who is saying to you, 'Give me a drink,' you would have asked him and he would have given you living water." [11] (The woman) said to him, "Sir, you do not even have a bucket and the cistern is deep; where then can you get this living water? [12] Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us this cistern and drank from it himself with his children and his flocks?" [13] Jesus answered and said to her, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again; [14] but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." [15] The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water."

CSDC 29. The love that inspires Jesus' ministry among men is the love that he has experienced in his intimate union with the Father. The New Testament allows us to enter deeply into the experience, that Jesus himself lives and communicates, the love of God his Father — “Abba” — and, therefore, it permits us to enter into the very heart of divine life. Jesus announces the liberating mercy of God to those whom he meets on his way, beginning with the poor, the marginalized, the sinners. He invites all to follow him because he is the first to obey God's plan of love, and he does so in a most singular way, as God's envoy in the world. Jesus' self-awareness of being the Son is an expression of this primordial experience. The Son has been given everything, and freely so, by the Father: “All that the Father has is mine” (Jn 16:15). His in turn is the mission of making all men sharers in this gift and in this filial relationship: “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you” (Jn 15:15). For Jesus, recognizing the Father's love means modelling his actions on God's gratuitousness and mercy; it is these that generate new life. It means becoming — by his very existence — the example and pattern of this for his disciples. Jesus' followers are called to live like him and, after his Passover of death and resurrection, to live also in him and by him, thanks to the superabundant gift of the Holy Spirit, the Consoler, who internalizes Christ's own style of life in human hearts.

[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)]