In the first reading Job uses the image of oppressed workers. He talks of a worker who sees all of life as drudgery, a slave who longs for the shade, and a hireling who waits for wages. Oppressive treatment of workers is not in God’s plan. Catholic Social Teaching tries to speak up for oppressed labor. It is not God’s desire that human beings be oppressed by any form of slavery or be inadequately compensated for their work. It is not God’s desire that human beings be treated as simply “tools” for production. God calls us to create a society where everyone has meaningful work with a living wage. God calls us to be part of a world where we can all be creative human beings working for and enjoying the benefits of the world God has given us.
In the gospel Jesus spends a day dealing with those who are burdened by sickness or various demons. Jesus offers healing. God desires healing. Catholic Social Teaching reminds us that God wants good things for all the people. Personal, loving care for those in need is at the heart of our religious practice. Adequate health care is a human right for all God’s people. God calls us to create a society where everyone has access to health care, where everyone is treated with dignity and respect, and where the values of society put people first.
Catholic Social Teaching is a powerful message to share with our world as it faces so many problems. There is something exciting when it is shared with the world. It is a source of liberation. In the gospel Jesus desires to move on to the other towns and keep sharing the message with everyone. In the second reading, Paul talks of his great desire to make any sacrifice to share the power of this good news. Our social teaching can be a source of liberation for all in need. It is to be shared free of charge to everyone.
God is concerned with our human needs. God wants us to be get into action.
As Pope Francis said last October 28: “Solidarity … means fighting against the structural causes of poverty and inequality; of the lack of work, land and housing; and of the denial of social and labor rights. It means confronting the destructive effects of the empire of money: forced dislocation, painful emigration, human trafficking, drugs, war, violence and all those realities that many of you suffer and that we are all called upon to transform.”
Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group
How does our nation need healing?
How are we being called to promote such healing?
How do you experience the reality of inequality in our society?
How can we address the problems of inequality in our society?
The Mirror with a Malfunction