The Pope explained that it is Christ who “helps us to navigate the tumultuous waters of sickness, death and injustice, which do not have the last word on our final destination.”
Continuing his catechesis on “Healing the World,” the Holy Father focused on the universal destination of goods and the virtue of hope.
Pandemic and social inequalities
Pope Francis went on to note that many social inequalities have been “highlighted and aggravated” by the pandemic. Many children are unable to continue receiving their education, people are unable to continue their work from home, and many nations cannot issue money to deal with the emergency.
“These symptoms of inequality reveal a social disease” said the Pope: “a virus that comes from a sick economy…the result of unequal economic growth, which is independent of fundamental human values.”
“In today’s world, very few rich people possess more than the rest of humanity. It is an injustice that cries out to heaven!”
Reflecting the design of Creation
This “sin of wanting to possess and dominate our brothers and sisters, nature and God Himself” is not the design of Creation, said the Pope.
He reminded the faithful that God gave the earth “to all of us” to care for and cultivate. God invited us to dominate the earth in His name, cultivating and tending it like a garden, “the garden of all”.
This garden must be “kept and preserved”, continued the Pope. It must not be abused of “to make the land what you want it to be”. The Pope stressed that “it has been given by God to allmankind and so it is our duty to ensure that its fruits reach everyone, not just some.”
Pope Francis went on to stress that, in order to ensure that what we possess “brings value to the community”, political authorities have the right and the duty to “regulate the legitimate exercise of the right to property according to the common good.”
Although “property and money are instruments that can serve the mission”, we easily turn them into “individual or collective” ends, said the Pope.
When this happens, he explained, essential human values are undermined. “We forget that, being created in God’s image and likeness, we are social beings, creative and supportive, with an immense capacity to love.”
“With our gaze fixed on Jesus and with the certainty that His love works through the community of His disciples, we must all act together in the hope of generating something different and better. Christian hope, rooted in God, is our nostalgia for God. It supports the will to share, strengthening our mission as disciples of Christ, Who has shared everything with us.”
Concluding his catechesis, the Pope said that, if we take care of the goods that the Creator gives us and if we share what we possess so that no one is lacking, then indeed “we can inspire hope to regenerate a more healthy and equal world.”
Finally, Pope Francis invited the faithful to “think about the children”, so many of whom are suffering due to this unjust system. Many are dying, hungry, lacking the opportunity to gain an education. After the crisis, he stressed, we must be better.
26 August 2020