Saturday, July 22, 2006

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Matthew 6:22)
...the adhering to the direction of the Millennium Development Goals — goals, and a plan, to alleviate poverty globally as directed and implemented by the United Nations.

Many of our leading voices have declared this to be a triumph of the Gospel message and the primary goal for which the Gospel was given. That is to say, that it is the greatest end to which the Church must work. The feeding of the poor is extremely important to be sure…it is one of the seven Corporal Works of Mercy… which means we are to do it, and do it without fail.

But Corporal Works of Mercy find their meaning in something higher. The Works of Mercy spring from Cardinal and Theological Virtues. And Virtue itself springs forth from the Grace of God. And the Grace of God springs forth from repentance and an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.

So in one sense, we have taken the easy road. Who in the world can reasonably argue with a group who is working to feed the poor? Who does not find favor in that? But on the other hand, nothing is required excepting a desire to relieve physical hunger. Any group or organization can participate, and for many different reasons…some higher, some not.

If we were to take a risk and follow our mission statement as we understand it through today’s Gospel, it might look different. We would still feed the poor and work to the end of relieving poverty to be sure. But we would do it through preaching repentance and proclaiming the Salvation of souls through Jesus Christ alone.
- Fr Jeff Reich

Or to paraphrase the great G.K. Chesterton, liberals are right about the world’s problems but wrong about the solutions.

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