Solidarity

 Week 6 Solidarity  Comments Off on Solidarity
Oct 312017
 

We are one human family whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic, and ideological differences. We are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, wherever they may be.  Loving our neighbor has global dimensions in a shrinking world. At the core of the virtue of solidarity is the pursuit of justice and peace. Pope Paul VI taught that “if you want peace, work for justice.” The Gospel calls us to be peacemakers. Our love for all our sisters and brothers demands that we promote peace in a world surrounded by violence and conflict.

Scripture

God blessed Israel so that all nations would be blessed through it.

Genesis 12:1-3

The LORD said to Abram: Go forth from your land, your relatives, and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you. 2 I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you. All the families of the earth will find blessing in you.

May our leaders be agents of peace and justice.

Psalm 72:8-14

8May he rule from sea to sea, from the river to the ends of the earth. 9May his foes kneel before him, his enemies lick the dust. 10May the kings of Tarshish and the islands bring tribute, the kings of Sheba and Seba offer gifts. 11May all kings bow before him, all nations serve him. 12For he rescues the poor when they cry out, the oppressed who have no one to help. 13He shows pity to the needy and the poor and saves the lives of the poor. 14From extortion and violence he redeems them, for precious is their blood in his sight.

These are the things you should do: Speak truth, judge well, make peace.

Zechariah 8:16 -17 

These then are the things you must do: Speak the truth to one another; judge with honesty and complete justice in your gates. 17Let none of you plot evil against another in your heart, nor love a false oath. For all these things I hate—oracle of the LORD.         

Blessed are the peacemakers.

Matthew 5:9  

9Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Be reconciled to one another before coming to the altar.

Matthew 5:21-24

21“You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, ‘You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment, and whoever says to his brother, ‘Raqa,’ will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna. 23Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, 24leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

Living rightly means to love one another.

Romans 13:8-10  

8Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery; you shall not kill; you shall not steal; you shall not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this saying, [namely] “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10Love does no evil to the neighbor; hence, love is the fulfillment of the law.

If one member of Christ’s body suffers, all suffer.  If one member is honored, all rejoice.

1 Corinthians 12:12-26

12As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ. 13For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit. 14Now the body is not a single part, but many. 15If a foot should say, “Because I am not a hand I do not belong to the body,” it does not for this reason belong any less to the body. 16Or if an ear should say, “Because I am not an eye I do not belong to the body,” it does not for this reason belong any less to the body. 17If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? 18But as it is, God placed the parts, each one of them, in the body as he intended. 19If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20But as it is, there are many parts, yet one body. 21The eye cannot say to the hand, “I do not need you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I do not need you.” 22Indeed, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are all the more necessary, 23and those parts of the body that we consider less honorable we surround with greater honor, and our less presentable parts are treated with greater propriety, 24whereas our more presentable parts do not need this. But God has so constructed the body as to give greater honor to a part that is without it, 25so that there may be no division in the body, but that the parts may have the same concern for one another. 26If [one] part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part is honored, all the parts share its joy.

In unity, clothe yourself with love and let the peace of Christ reign in your hearts.

Colossians 3:9-17         

9Stop lying to one another, since you have taken off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed, for knowledge, in the image of its creator. 11Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all and in all. 12Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience 13bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do. 14And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection. 15And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body. And be thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

The love of God in us is witnessed to by our willingness to lay down our lives for others as Christ did for us.

1 John 3:13-18  

Do not be amazed, [then,] brothers, if the world hates you. 14We know that we have passed from death to life because we love our brothers. Whoever does not love remains in death. 15Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life remaining in him. 16The way we came to know love was that he laid down his life for us; so we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. 17If someone who has worldly means sees a brother in need and refuses him compassion, how can the love of God remain in him? 18Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth.

 
Tradition  

Developing countries, where the most important reserves of the biosphere are found, continue to fuel the development of richer countries at the cost of their own present and future. The land of the southern poor is rich and mostly unpolluted, yet access to ownership of goods and resources for meeting vital needs is inhibited by a system of commercial relations and ownership which is structurally perverse. . . . As the United States bishops have said, greater attention must be given to “the needs of the poor, the weak and the vulnerable, in a debate often dominated by more powerful interests.” We need to strengthen the conviction that we are one single human family. There are no frontiers or barriers, political or social, behind which we can hide, still less is there room for the globalization of indifference. (Pope Francis, On Care for Our Common Home [Laudato Si’. . . ],no. 52, quoting United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Global Climate Change: A Plea for Dialogue, Prudence and the Common Good)

In the present condition of global society, where injustices abound and growing numbers of people are deprived of basic human rights and considered expendable, the principle of the common good immediately becomes, logically and inevitably, a summons to solidarity and a preferential option for the poorest of our brothers and sisters. This option entails recognizing the implications of the universal destination of the world’s goods, but, as I mentioned in the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, it demands before all else an appreciation of the immense dignity of the poor in the light of our deepest convictions as believers. We need only look around us to see that, today, this option is in fact an ethical imperative essential for effectively attaining the common good. (Pope Francis, On Care for Our Common Home [Laudato Si. . . ‘], no. 158)

To love someone is to desire that person’s good and to take effective steps to secure it.  Besides the good of the individual, there is the good that is linked to living in society: the common good.  It is the good of “all of us,” made up of individuals, families and intermediate groups who together constitute society.  … To desire the common good and strive towards it is a requirement of justice and charity. (Pope Benedict XVI, Charity in Truth [Caritas in Veritate. . . ], no. 7)

It is good for people to realize that purchasing is always a moral — and not simply economic — act. Hence the consumer has a specific social responsibility, which goes hand-in-hand with the social responsibility of the enterprise. Consumers should be continually educated regarding their daily role, which can be exercised with respect for moral principles without diminishing the intrinsic economic rationality of the act of purchasing… It can be helpful to promote new ways of marketing products from deprived areas of the world, so as to guarantee their producers a decent return. (Pope Benedict XVI, Charity in Truth [Caritas in Veritate. . . ], no. 66)

At another level, the roots of the  contradiction between the solemn affirmation of human rights and their tragic denial in practice lies in a notion of freedom which exalts the isolated individual in an absolute way, and gives no place to solidarity, to openness to others and service of them. . . It is precisely in this sense that Cain’s answer to the Lord’s question: “Where is Abel your brother?” can be interpreted: “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” (Gen 4:9).  Yes, every man is his “brother’s keeper,” because God entrusts us to one another. (St. John Paul II, The Gospel of Life [Evangelium Vitae. . . ], no. 19)

[Solidarity] is not a feeling of vague compassion or shallow distress at the misfortunes of so many people, both near and far. On the contrary, it is a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good; that is to say, to the good of all and of each individual, because we are all really responsible for all. (St. John Paul II, On Social Concern [Sollicitudo rei Socialis. . . ], no. 38)

Interdependence must be transformed into solidarity, based upon the principle that the goods of creation are meant for all. That which human industry produces through the processing of raw materials, with the contribution of work, must serve equally for the good of all. (St. John Paul II, On Social Concern [Sollicitudo rei Socialis. . . ], no. 39)

We have to move from our devotion to independence, through an understanding of interdependence, to a commitment to human solidarity. That challenge must find its realization in the kind of community we build among us. Love implies  concern for all – especially the poor – and a continued search for those social  and economic structures that permit everyone to share in a community that is a  part of a redeemed creation (Rom 8:21-23). (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Economic Justice for All, no. 365)

The solidarity which binds all men together as members of a common family makes it impossible for wealthy nations to look with indifference upon the hunger, misery and poverty of other nations whose citizens are unable to enjoy even elementary human rights. The nations of the world are becoming more and more dependent on one another and it will not be possible to preserve a lasting peace so long as glaring economic and social imbalances persist. (St. John XXIII, On Christianity and Social Progress [Mater et Magistra. . . ], no. 157)