In our new message series, “Common Sense,” we’re going to focus on all the reasons that it makes sense to believe in the teachings of Jesus. The Church has not always practiced what it preaches. Yet, it cannot be denied that Christianity has produced some of the most robust and ubiquitous social justice teachings of any thought tradition, and this very well may be one of the strongest reasons to sign on to Christianity.
Those social justice teachings connect directly to the mission and ministry of Jesus Christ. As Catholics today, we take up the mantle of social justice championed by Jesus. We commit to challenging authority, dining with sinners, forgiving without qualification, and serving everyone with dignity and compassion.
The sanctity of human life is a critical issue for the Catholic Church. All people, regardless of race, gender, creed, socioeconomic status, or country of origin, are entitled to dignified, compassionate treatment in all facets of their lives — from institutions, people in power, laws, and social policies.
The crisis at our own country’s southern border has been in and out of the news in recent months, seen especially in the grossly inhumane treatment of migrants and asylum-seekers by our current presidential administration. Pope Francis and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have clearly defined the Catholic Church’s position on this issue. Although countries have a right to control their borders, Catholics also recognize the right of all human beings to freely migrate from their country of origin. The Church also consistently advocates for comprehensive and compassionate immigration reform and for the humane treatment of migrants at the border.
Pope Francis offered some beautiful words for the 2019 World Day of Migrants and Refugees, where he reminds us that “it is not just about refugees” — it is also about acknowledgment of our fears (that may, consciously or not, lead to intolerances and exclusion) and an appeal to our common humanity (like the Samaritan, who opened his home to the Jew, when his fellow Jews failed to).
Through migrants, Francis says, “the Lord is calling us to conversion, to be set free from exclusivity, indifference, and a throw-away culture. Through them, the Lord invites us to embrace fully our Christian life and to contribute, each according to his or her proper vocation, to the building up of a world that is more and more in accord with God’s plan” (Message of His Holiness Pope Francis for the 105th World Day of Migrants and Refugees).
January is filled with New Year’s Resolutions — ideas of being more compassionate, more loving, more open to growth might have made some people’s lists. It’s been shown that it can be easier to commit to a resolution with a rationale attached. Our faith is the common sense rationale, grounded in scripture and tradition of life.
—Claire Kosewic, Staff Bulletin Writer
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