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Bible Study Evangelista - 05 Option for the Poor

July 27, 2020

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A basic moral test is how our most vulnerable members are faring. In a society marred by deepening divisions between rich and poor, our tradition recalls the story of the Last Judgment (Mt 25:31-46) and instructs us to put the needs of the poor and vulnerable first.

“The poor not only suffer injustice, they also struggle against it! . . . [Solidarity] means that the lives of all take priority over the appropriation of goods by a few. It also 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 . . . Love for the poor is at the center of the Gospel.” —Pope Francis, Address to the First World Meeting of Popular Movements

Topics Discussed:

Catholic social justice principle #4, the preferential option for the poor and vulnerable 

How to serve without superiority

What Jesus meant by “take my ‘yoke’ upon you” 

Overview:

Minutes 00:12:00 – The secret to successful ministry, the preferential option for the poor   

Minutes 12:01-24:00 – Who are the poor, how do I serve them?

Minutes 24:01-36:00 – Serving without superiority, enabling the poor to thrive

Minutes 36:01-48:00 – The primary purpose of the option for the poor: to enable them to become active participants in society.

Additional Resources:

Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel (Evangelii Gaudium)

St. Ambrose, “You are not making a gift of what is yours to the poor man, but you are giving him back what is his. You have been appropriating things that are meant to be for the common use of everyone. The earth belongs to everyone, not to the rich.” (Populorum Progressio,Pope Paul VI, 23)

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Seven Themes of Catholic Social Teaching

Book, Amazon: Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the ChurchPontifical Council for Justice and Peace and USCCB

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