Many Catholics today continue to be unaware of a simple sentence in the famous 1986 pastoral letter of the U.S. bishops, “Economic Justice for All,” which proclaimed that economic life is one of the “chief areas where we live out our faith, love our neighbor” and “fulfill God’s creative design.” (#6)(http://www.networklobby.org/issues/economic-justice)
Feed-give-clothe-shelter-visit-bury: these are the corporal works of mercy. According to St. Benedict they lead us to Christ. According to Jesus they get us into the kingdom.
However, when we look around in America we see that the Walmart Family made $91 million dollars per day last year. Corporations get rich and the middle-class shrinks. The disparity between rich and poor widens. And there is a growing number of politicians that tell the Churches that we are responsible for caring for the poor.
Yesterday at the Eucharist we spoke about evil as “scapegoating.” I understand that some people cheat the system. But when we tell a family of four who falls beneath the poverty level at $23,550.00 that we are going to cut their food stamps and that they are to blame for the bloated U.S. government budget, I wonder about “evil.”
According to the Book of Leviticus, Holiness is Honesty. And honestly, we fall short.