Wednesday, September 13, 2006

"Social issues and the Gospel are inseparable."

Pope Benedict said that on is German tour. During his homily at the outdoor mass in Munich the pope preceded his statement saying,
"The Gospel invites us to realize that we have a "deficit" in our capacity for perception - initially, we do not notice this deficiency as such, since everything else seems so urgent and logical; since everything seems to proceed normally, even when we no longer have eyes and ears for God and we live without him. But is it true that everything goes on as usual when God no longer is a part of our lives and our world?"
We tend to separate the gospel and social issues, although we have progressed in uniting them thanks to the Second Vatican Council. Pope Benedict called attention to our "'deficit' in our capacity for perception." Some agree that social issues and the gospel are inseparable, yet they may give priority to the social issues. The pope gave examples from the German church in his homily.

The gospel is the reason why the Catholic Church has always emphasized attention to social issues and promoted the "common good and well-being of all people, especially the poor and the vulnerable" (Part Three, Section Two, Chapter Two of the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, scroll to the Seventh Commandment).

The Trinity loves us precisely because of our "deficit": "When we were lost and could not find the way to you [God], you loved us more than ever" (First Eucharistic Prayer for Reconciliation). The more deeply aware and the more concretely we feel their divine love for us, then more freely and courageously do we allow their love for us to overflow our selves and to touch others with it.

St. John Chrysostom, whom the church recalls today, was adamant about the interconnection of the gospel and social issues. We do well to ask him to intercede for us in order that we might dispose ourselves to the graces the Trinity offers us to keep the gospel and social issues intertwined in our time and place.

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