St. Michael's Parish - Cobourg

Christ, the King of Justice                                        -Homily November 24, 2013

 

Today is the feast of Christ the King. Christ is the King of a kingdom that is already begun, but not yet fulfilled. When he comes back, he will establish his kingdom forever, and he will make justice. Moreover, some parishioners are supporting a beautiful campaign to prevent the exploitation of people by Canadian mining companies in the Global south. They have asked me to speak today a little bit about that. It is also the end of the year of faith, and so the last day to earn indulgences. As you know, one of the ways to obtain a plenary indulgence was to hear at least three homilies on the Catechism. All of you, who have heard that many homilies about the Catechism of the Catholic Church, will today receive your plenary indulgence, provided that you pray for the Holy Father, do your confession and receive communion in the next eight days.

 

So my intention today is to enlighten our efforts to build up a world of justice with the Catechism of the Catholic Church. In that way we may see what our part is in making the kingdom of God a reality. I will extract two points of the treatise on the seventh commandment, “you shall not steal.” First, respect of creation; second, the social doctrine of the Church.

 

1. “The seventh commandment enjoins respect for the integrity of creation. Animals, like plants and inanimate beings, are by nature destined for the common good of past, present, and future humanity.” In other words, natural resources are not only mine, but other people’s as well, both now and in the future. So “you shall not steal” means ‘you shall not take as your own what belongs to your brother or sister.’ “Use of the mineral, vegetable, and animal resources of the universe cannot be divorced from respect for moral imperatives. Man's dominion over inanimate and other living beings granted by the Creator is not absolute; it is limited by concern for the quality of life of his neighbor, including generations to come.” (2415)

 

According to the testimonies of people from Honduras, Madagascar, Peru and the Philippines, mining companies have displaced people from their homes; have produced erosion of their agricultural land, deforestation, pollution of their water sources, violence, conflict and corruption of local officials. These are not only forms of stealing, but also of putting in risk the very lives of people. “You shall not kill.”

 

2. This is the social doctrine of the Church. According to the Catechism, “The Church makes a moral judgment about economic and social matters, "when the fundamental rights of the person or the salvation of souls requires it." In the moral order she bears a mission distinct from that of political authorities: the Church is concerned with the temporal aspects of the common good because they are ordered to the sovereign Good, our ultimate end. She strives to inspire right attitudes with respect to earthly goods and in socio-economic relationships.” (2420) The Church does not enter into economics, but says to those who run the economy: “You shall not steal.” The Church does not make politics, but says to all men and women: “You shall not kill.”

 

“Any system in which social relationships are determined entirely by economic factors is contrary to the nature of the human person and his acts.” (2423) “A theory that makes profit the exclusive norm and ultimate end of economic activity is morally unacceptable. The disordered desire for money cannot but produce perverse effects.” (2424) Nowadays we are accustomed to seeing everything made in China. Things made in China are amazingly cheaper. But you know why? Because the blood of human beings in China is amazingly cheaper. Every shirt we use “made in China” is probably stained with the denigration of a human being. The price of our welfare is the slavery of entire families, whose life is not worthy a penny in the eyes of those who have money. What do we do about that? What can we do? “Every practice that reduces persons to nothing more than a means of profit enslaves human being, leads to idolizing money, and contributes to the spread of atheism. "You cannot serve God and mammon."(2424)

 

“Regulating [the economy] solely by the law of the marketplace fails social justice, for "there are many human needs which cannot be satisfied by the market." Reasonable regulation of the marketplace and economic initiatives, in keeping with a just hierarchy of values and a view to the common good, is to be commended” (2425)

 

What can we do? Well, to sign the petition may be one thing. To value the things we have, another thing. To value the work of people working for us, another, to remember in our prayers the slaves our companies have in other countries, the slaves who make our clothing, our computers, our cars, our welfare… it is another thing we can do. If we can do something to help our brothers and sisters who suffer social injustice, we must do it.

 

Christmas_holly_border_pageWhen you belong to a kingdom, you fulfill the law of that kingdom. The law of Christ the King is love. Let us make him our King, let us make his law our law. If we make him reign in ourselves, he will reign in our communities. May the Lord help us to be true Christians, concerned for all human beings, and for the whole human being, body and soul.   –Fr. Andrew

 

 

Christmas Concert

  ‘Keep Christ in Christmas’

 

See full size imageYou are invited to an evening Christmas concert

Friday, December 6, 2013

7:00 – 8:30 pm in St. Michael’s Church, Cobourg

(corner of University & Division Sts.)

Come out and enjoy local talent:

 St. Mary Secondary School Choir

                                                 St. Michael’s Junior Choir

                                                 St. Michael Folk Choir

                                                 Fr. Andrew, Fr. Paul Massel and Guests

 

                                 Bring the family for a special night and join in for a carol sing along.

 

See full size imageTickets now available

Children/Student $5.  Adults $10.  Family $25.

905 372-6844

All proceeds towards our

Care & Maintenance Fund.