Social Justice

Mercy

Mercy is not an abstract concept but a lifestyle.  A Christian who chooses to be merciful experiences true life and has "eyes to see, ears to listen, and hands to comfort!"

How sensitive or immune are you to the needs of the poor?

  •          Do you see pain, and do not touch it?
  •          Do you hear weeping, but do not comfort it?
  •          Do you see injustice, but say and do nothing about it?

‘As you did it to one of the least of my brethren, you did it to me.’ (or, if you ignore others you ignore Me)

Act!  Touch those in need!  Learn more:

If you are performing works of charity and mercy now, what more can you do?  Work for justice! 

Catholic Teaching on Immigration

“The Lord God then took the man and settled him in the Garden of Eden,  to cultivate and care for it.”

Genesis 2:15

Catholic social teaching, Pope Francis, and our bishops teach that we all share the responsibility of tending, caring, and healing our planet.  We do this out of respect for God’s commands and His creation.  While doing so, we help the poor, who suffer the most from abuses of God’s creation.

  • Pope Francis says: “Nurturing and cherishing creation is a command God gives not only at the beginning of history, but to each of us.”
  • Our Bishops call for action to mitigate global climate change based on social and economic justice. 
  • Our Catechism teaches us to avoid disordered use of things in contempt of the Creator, causing disastrous consequences for us and the environment.

When you think of creation, envision all of nature -- everything that exists in the universe. 

  • The Bible states in Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and earth.”  
  • From the very first line, and throughout the Bible, God is the ultimate creator of everything that exists.
  • Creation includes the air you breathe, the water you drink, the food you eat, and your general environment – to cultivate and care for. 
  • “God also said: I give you every seed-bearing plant on all the earth and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be your food!” (Genesis 1:21), and “The LORD God gave the man this order: You are free to eat from any of the trees of the garden except the tree of knowledge of good and evil!”  (Genesis 2:16-17).
  • “God saw that it was good!”
  • How do you see it?

Creation is not a single event; it is a very dynamic process that is ongoing and evolutionary.

  • Our universe came into being some 13.7 billion years ago. 
  • Our earth was formed some 4.5 billion years ago.
  • Primitive life began to emerge some 4 billion years ago. 
  • Modern man emerged some 50,000 years ago. 

Today, the part of creation that concerns us most (our current home) faces challenges.

  • Ecological challenges to preserve clean air, water and habitat. 
  • Human challenges to ensure adequate housing, healthcare, education, jobs, and peace between peoples.

Pope Francis, in his encyclical Laudato Si, addresses many of the ecological problems of today and offers the following words of encouragement:

  • “God … offers us the light and the strength to continue on our way. 
  • In the heart of this world, the Lord of life, who loves us so much, is always present. 
  • He does not abandon us, he does not leave us alone, for he has united himself definitely to our earth, and his love constantly impels us to find new ways forward.  Praise be to him!”

 How do you cultivate and care for God's creation – including His creatures?

INFORM AND FORM YOUR CONSCIENCE

Catholics must deal with many moral issues in an informed manner.  Our Bishops provide guidance on how to inform and form your conscience.  Review and act upon the following

  1. Forming Your Conscience

  2. Review issues and Catholic teaching

  3. Learn!  Review the following on the Bishops Web Site

    • Scripture (but learn the official teaching and meaning of the Word)

    • Catechism

    • Social Teaching

4.  Examine your conscience

5.  Pray!!!

6.  Fear no evil and trust in God!  (Psalm 23)

7.  Act!  Be compassionate, merciful, and work for Justice!

POVERTY AWARENESS

 Jesus taught “The Kingdom of God is at hand!”  (mentioned over 120 times in the Gospels)  Jesus focused on the vulnerable and outcasts, with whom He walked, talked, taught, comforted, healed, and fed.  Jesus lived in solidarity with the poor.  Do you?

  • "I want a Church which is poor and for the poor!" (Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium)
  • Join the U.S. Bishops and the Catholic Community in the United States in taking up Pope Francis' challenge to live in solidarity with the poor!
  • Learn about the many issues of poverty and activities this month, e.g., dignity for workers, migration, care for creation, restorative justice, and many more. 

Act!  If you are performing works of charity now, what more can you do? 

  • Join with the Social Justice Ministry and Catholic Charities!
  • Help us Shelter 1 homeless family (was sleeping in a car)! 
  • Help set up an apartment!
  • Support financially ($33 = 1 day of CCFW shelter with a case manager, mentoring, job search, etc.; $99 = 3 days of shelter, etc.)!

Contact the Social Justice Ministry coordinator for details on how to get involved (Robert Torres, socialjustice@gscc.net   

Living  a Socially Just Life

THE LEAST OF MY BROTHERS (MATTHEW 25: 34FF)

‘I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ The corporal and spiritual works of mercy, commandments, beatitudes, and recent Church teachings give us concrete examples for how to love others. Consider what you can personally do (time, talent, treasure) - starting at home and reaching out to others via GSCC Connect Groups in Ministry. 
 

Do We Know?

If there is a ministry or need that we are missing, please contact:

Sarah Luter at sluter@gscc.net,  817-421-1387 ext 209

Connect Group Lead: Robert Torres