The Gospel for Sunday, September 30th, 2007
Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
One sign of the mercy of God which is especially necessary today is the sign of charity, which opens our eyes to the needs of those who are poor and excluded. Such is the situation affecting vast sectors of society and casting its shadow of death upon whole peoples. The human race is facing forms of slavery which are new and more subtle than those of the past; and for too many people freedom remains a word without meaning. Some nations, especially the poorer ones, are oppressed by a debt so huge that repayment is practically impossible. It is clear, therefore, that there can be no real progress without effective cooperation between the peoples of every language, race, nationality and religion. The abuses of power which result in some dominating others must stop: such abuses are sinful and unjust. Whoever is concerned to accumulate treasure only on earth [cf. Mt 6:19] “is not rich in the sight of God” [Lk 12:21].
There is also a need to create a new culture of international solidarity and cooperation, where all particularly the wealthy nations and the private sector accept responsibility for an economic model which serves everyone. There should be no more postponement of the time when the poor Lazarus can sit beside the rich man to share the same banquet and be forced no more to feed on the scraps that fall from the table [cf. Lk 16:19-31]. Extreme poverty is a source of violence, bitterness and scandal; and to eradicate it is to do the work of justice and therefore the work of peace.
… It is a reminder to all that they should give absolute importance neither to the goods of the earth, since these are not God, nor to man’s domination or claim to domination, since the earth belongs to God and to him alone: “the earth is mine and you are strangers and sojourners with me” [Lev 25:23]. May this year of grace touch the hearts of those who hold in their hands the fate of the world’s peoples!