Saturday, January 31, 2015

John 9, 35-41 + CSDC and CV

John 9, 35-41 + CSDC and CV 

CV 2a Charity is at the heart of the Church's social doctrine. Every responsibility and every commitment spelt out by that doctrine is derived from charity which, according to the teaching of Jesus, is the synthesis of the entire Law (cf. Mt 22:36- 40). It gives real substance to the personal relationship with God and with neighbour; it is the principle not only of micro-relationships (with friends, with family members or within small groups) but also of macro-relationships (social, economic and political ones). For the Church, instructed by the Gospel, charity is everything because, as Saint John teaches (cf. 1 Jn 4:8, 16) and as I recalled in my first Encyclical Letter, “God is love” (Deus Caritas Est): everything has its origin in God's love, everything is shaped by it, everything is directed towards it.  

Exercising unconditional dominion over things heedless of any moral considerations

CSDC 461. The biblical message and the Church's Magisterium represent the essential reference points for evaluating the problems found in the relationship between man and the environment.[969] The underlying cause of these problems can be seen in man's pretension of exercising unconditional dominion over things, heedless of any moral considerations which, on the contrary, must distinguish all human activity. The tendency towards an “ill-considered” [970] exploitation of the resources of creation is the result of a long historical and cultural process. “The modern era has witnessed man's growing capacity for transformative intervention. The aspect of the conquest and exploitation of resources has become predominant and invasive, and today it has even reached the point of threatening the environment's hospitable aspect: the environment as ‘resource' risks threatening the environment as ‘home'. Because of the powerful means of transformation offered by technological civilization, it sometimes seems that the balance between man and the environment has reached a critical point”.[971]  

Notes: [969] Cf. Paul VI, Apostolic Letter Octogesima Adveniens, 21: AAS 63 (1971), 416-417. [970] Paul VI, Apostolic Letter Octogesimo Adveniens, 21: AAS 63 (1971), 417. [971] John Paul II, Address to participants in a convention on “The Environment and Health“ (24 March 1997), 2: L'Osservatore Romano, English edition, 9 April 1997, p. 2.

(John 9, 35-41) Surely we are not also blind, are we?

[35] When Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, he found him and said, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?" [36] He answered and said, "Who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?" [37] Jesus said to him, "You have seen him and the one speaking with you is he." [38] He said, "I do believe, Lord," and he worshiped him. [39] Then Jesus said, "I came into this world for judgment, so that those who do not see might see, and those who do see might become blind." [40] Some of the Pharisees who were with him heard this and said to him, "Surely we are not also blind, are we?" [41] Jesus said to them, "If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you are saying, 'We see,' so your sin remains.

CSDC 57. The good things — such as human dignity, brotherhood and freedom, all the good fruits of nature and of human enterprise — that in the Lord's Spirit and according to his command have spread throughout the earth, having been purified of every stain, illuminated and transfigured, belong to the Kingdom of truth and life, of holiness and grace, of justice, of love and of peace that Christ will present to the Father, and it is there that we shall once again find them. The words of Christ in their solemn truth will then resound for all people: “Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me ... as you did it to one of the least of my brethren, you did it to me” (Mt 25:34-36,40).
[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)] 

Friday, January 30, 2015

John 9, 18-34 + CSDC and CV

John 9, 18-34 + CSDC and CV 

CV 1c All people feel the interior impulse to love authentically: love and truth never abandon them completely, because these are the vocation planted by God in the heart and mind of every human person. The search for love and truth is purified and liberated by Jesus Christ from the impoverishment that our humanity brings to it, and he reveals to us in all its fullness the initiative of love and the plan for true life that God has prepared for us. In Christ, charity in truth becomes the Face of his Person, a vocation for us to love our brothers and sisters in the truth of his plan. Indeed, he himself is the Truth (cf. Jn 14:6).

A central point of reference for every scientific and technological application is respect for men and women  

CSDC 459. A central point of reference for every scientific and technological application is respect for men and women, which must also be accompanied by a necessary attitude of respect for other living creatures. Even when thought is given to making some change in them, “one must take into account the nature of each being and of its mutual connection in an ordered system”.[962] In this sense, the formidable possibilities of biological research raise grave concerns, in that “we are not yet in a position to assess the biological disturbance that could result from indiscriminate genetic manipulation and from the unscrupulous development of new forms of plant and animal life, to say nothing of unacceptable experimentation regarding the origins of human life itself”.[963] In fact, “it is now clear that the application of these discoveries in the fields of industry and agriculture have produced harmful long-term effects. This has led to the painful realization that we cannot interfere in one area of the ecosystem without paying due attention both to the consequences of such interference in other areas and to the well-being of future generations”.[964] 

Notes: [962] John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 34: AAS 80 (1988), 559. [963] John Paul II, Message for the 1990 World Day of Peace, 7: AAS 82 (1990), 151. [964] John Paul II, Message for the 1990 World Day of Peace, 6: AAS 82 (1990), 150.

(John 9, 18-34) One thing I do know is that I was blind and now I see   

[18] Now the Jews did not believe that he had been blind and gained his sight until they summoned the parents of the one who had gained his sight. [19] They asked them, "Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How does he now see?" [20] His parents answered and said, "We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. [21] We do not know how he sees now, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him, he is of age; he can speak for him self." [22] His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone acknowledged him as the Messiah, he would be expelled from the synagogue. [23] For this reason his parents said, "He is of age; question him." [24] So a second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him, "Give God the praise! We know that this man is a sinner." [25] He replied, "If he is a sinner, I do not know. One thing I do know is that I was blind and now I see." [26] So they said to him, "What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?" [27] He answered them, "I told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples, too?" [28] They ridiculed him and said, "You are that man's disciple; we are disciples of Moses! [29] We know that God spoke to Moses, but we do not know where this one is from." [30] The man answered and said to them, "This is what is so amazing, that you do not know where he is from, yet he opened my eyes. [31] We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if one is devout and does his will, he listens to him. [32] It is unheard of that anyone ever opened the eyes of a person born blind. [33] If this man were not from God, he would not be able to do anything." [34] They answered and said to him, "You were born totally in sin, and are you trying to teach us?" Then they threw him out.

CSDC 221. The family is present as the place where communion — that communion so necessary for a society that is increasingly individualistic — is brought about. It is the place where an authentic community of persons develops and grows[490], thanks to the endless dynamism of love, which is the fundamental dimension of human experience and which finds in the family the privileged place for making itself known. “Love causes man to find fulfilment through the sincere gift of self. To love means to give and to receive something which can be neither bought nor sold, but only given freely and mutually”[491]. It is thanks to love, the essential reality for defining marriage and the family that every person — man and woman — is recognized, accepted and respected in his dignity. From love arise relationships lived in gratuitousness, which “by respecting and fostering personal dignity in each and every one as the only basis for value ... takes the form of heartfelt acceptance, encounter and dialogue, disinterested availability, generous service and deep solidarity”[492]. The existence of families living this way exposes the failings and contradictions of a society that is for the most part, even if not exclusively, based on efficiency and functionality. By constructing daily a network of interpersonal relationships, both internal and external, the family is instead “the first and irreplaceable school of social life, and example and stimulus for the broader community relationships marked by respect, justice, dialogue and love”[493]. 

Notes: [490] Cf. John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio, 18: AAS 74 (1982), 100-101. [491] John Paul II, Letter to Families Gratissimam Sane, 11: AAS 86 (1994), 883.[492] John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio, 43: AAS 74 (1982), 134. [493] John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio, 43: AAS 74 (1982), 134.

[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)] 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

John 9, 13-17 + CSDC and CV

John 9, 13-17 + CSDC and CV 

CV 1b Each person finds his good by adherence to God's plan for him, in order to realize it fully: in this plan, he finds his truth, and through adherence to this truth he becomes free (cf. Jn 8:32). To defend the truth, to articulate it with humility and conviction, and to bear witness to it in life are therefore exacting and indispensable forms of charity. Charity, in fact, “rejoices in the truth” (1 Cor 13:6).  

The right to development must be taken into account when considering questions related to the debt crisis of many poor countries  

CSDC 450. The right to development must be taken into account when considering questions related to the debt crisis of many poor countries.[944] Complex causes of various types lie at the origin of the debt crisis. At the international level there are the fluctuation of exchange rates, financial speculation and economic neo-colonialism; within individual debtor countries there is corruption, poor administration of public monies or the improper utilization of loans received. The greatest sufferings, which can be traced back both to structural questions as well as personal behaviour, strike the people of poor and indebted countries who are not responsible for this situation. The international community cannot ignore this fact; while reaffirming the principle that debts must be repaid, ways must be found that do not compromise the “fundamental right of peoples to subsistence and progress”.[945]

  Notes: [944] Cf. John Paul II, Apostolic Letter Tertio Millennio Adveniente, 51: AAS 87 (1995), 36; John Paul II, Message for the 1998 World Day of Peace, 4: AAS 90 (1998), 151-152; John Paul II, Address to the Conference of the Inter-Parliamentarian Union (30 November 1998): Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, XXI, 2 (1998), 1162-1163; John Paul II, Message for the 1999 World Day of Peace, 9: AAS 91 (1999), 383-384. [945] John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus, 35: AAS 83 (1991), 838; cf. also the document At the Service of the Human Community: an Ethical Approach to the International Debt Question, published by the Pontifical Commission “Iustitia et Pax” (27 December 1986), Vatican City 1986.

(John 9, 13-17) He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and now I can see 

 [13] They brought the one who was once blind to the Pharisees. [14] Now Jesus had made clay and opened his eyes on a sabbath. [15] So then the Pharisees also asked him how he was able to see. He said to them, "He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and now I can see." [16] So some of the Pharisees said, "This man is not from God, because he does not keep the sabbath." (But) others said, "How can a sinful man do such signs?" And there was a division among them. [17] So they said to the blind man again, "What do you have to say about him, since he opened your eyes?" He said, "He is a prophet."

CSDC 258. The apex of biblical teaching on work is the commandment of the Sabbath rest. For man, bound as he is to the necessity of work, this rest opens to the prospect of a fuller freedom, that of the eternal Sabbath (cf. Heb 4:9-10). Rest gives men and women the possibility to remember and experience anew God's work, from Creation to Redemption, to recognize themselves as his work (cf. Eph 2:10), and to give thanks for their lives and for their subsistence to him who is their author. The memory and the experience of the Sabbath constitute a barrier against becoming slaves to work, whether voluntarily or by force, and against every kind of exploitation, hidden or evident. In fact, the Sabbath rest, besides making it possible for people to participate in the worship of God, was instituted in defence of the poor. Its function is also that of freeing people from the antisocial degeneration of human work. The Sabbath rest can even last a year; this entails the expropriation of the fruits of the earth on behalf of the poor and the suspension of the property rights of landowners: “For six years you shall sow your land and gather in its yield; but the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, that the poor of your people may eat; and what they leave the wild beasts may eat. You shall do likewise with your vineyard, and with your olive orchard” (Ex 23:10-11). This custom responds to a profound intuition: the accumulation of goods by some can sometimes cause others to be deprived of goods.

[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)] 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

John 9, 1-12 + CSDC and CV

John 9, 1-12 + CSDC and CV 

CV 1a Charity in truth, to which Jesus Christ bore witness by his earthly life and especially by his death and resurrection, is the principal driving force behind the authentic development of every person and of all humanity. Love — caritas — is an extraordinary force which leads people to opt for courageous and generous engagement in the field of justice and peace. It is a force that has its origin in God, Eternal Love and Absolute Truth.

Something is due to man because he is man, by reason of his lofty dignity

CSDC 448. The spirit of international cooperation requires that, beyond the strict market mentality, there should be an awareness of the duty to solidarity, justice and universal charity.[932] In fact, there exists “something which is due to man because he is man, by reason of his lofty dignity”.[933] Cooperation is the path to which the entire international community should be committed, “according to an adequate notion of the common good in relation to the whole human family”.[934] Many positive results flow from this; for example, an increase of confidence in the potential of poor people and therefore of poor countries and an equitable distribution of goods.

Notes: [932] Cf. Paul VI, Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio, 44: AAS 59 (1967), 279. [933] John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus, 34: AAS 83 (1991), 836. [934] John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus, 58: AAS 83 (1991), 863.

(John 9, 1-12) I am the light of the world

[1] As he passed by he saw a man blind from birth. [2] His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" [3] Jesus answered, "Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him. [4] We have to do the works of the one who sent me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work. [5] While I am in the world, I am the light of the world." [6] When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva, and smeared the clay on his eyes, [7] and said to him, "Go wash  in the Pool of Siloam" (which means Sent). So he went and washed, and came back able to see. [8] His neighbors and those who had seen him earlier as a beggar said, "Isn't this the one who used to sit and beg?" [9] Some said, "It is," but others said, "No, he just looks like him." He said, "I am." [10] So they said to him, "(So) how were your eyes opened?" [11] He replied, "The man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and told me, 'Go to Siloam and wash.' So I went there and washed and was able to see." [12] And they said to him, "Where is he?" He said, "I don't know."

CSDC 261. During his earthly ministry Jesus works tirelessly, accomplishing powerful deeds to free men and women from sickness, suffering and death. The Sabbath — which the Old Testament had put forth as a day of liberation and which, when observed only formally, lost its authentic significance — is reaffirmed by Jesus in its original meaning: “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mk 2:27). By healing people on this day of rest (cf. Mt 12:9-14; Mk 3:1-6; Lk 6:6-11, 13:10-17, 14:1-6), he wishes to show that the Sabbath is his, because he is truly the Son of God, and that it is the day on which men should dedicate themselves to God and to others. Freeing people from evil, practising brotherhood and sharing: these give to work its noblest meaning, that which allows humanity to set out on the path to the eternal Sabbath, when rest will become the festive celebration to which men and women inwardly aspire. It is precisely in orienting humanity towards this experience of God's Sabbath and of his fellowship of life that work is the inauguration on earth of the new creation.

[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)]