Hannah Brockhaus reports on Pope Francis’s homily from the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls in Rome, earlier this month:
One of the grave injustices of today, he said, is the vast disparity in wealth which exists in many countries around the world.
“When society is no longer based on the principle of solidarity and the common good, we witness the scandal of people living in utter destitution amid skyscrapers, grand hotels and luxurious shopping centers,” he said. “We have forgotten the wisdom of the Mosaic law: if wealth is not shared, society is divided.”
He pointed out that in St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans, the same idea is applied to the Christian community: “those who are strong must bear with the weak.”
“Following Christ’s example, we are to make every effort to build up those who are weak. Solidarity and shared responsibility must be the laws that govern the Christian family,” Francis urged.
He also reminded Christians that it is a “grave sin to belittle or despise the gifts that the Lord has given our brothers and sisters, and to think that God somehow holds them in less esteem.”
“When we entertain such thoughts, we allow the very grace we have received to become a source of pride, injustice and division. And how can we then enter the promised kingdom?” he asked.
“It is easy to forget the fundamental equality existing among us,” he said, “that once we were all slaves to sin, that the Lord saved us in baptism and called us his children. It is easy to think that the spiritual grace granted us is our property, something to which we are due.”
“The gifts we have received from God can also blind us to the gifts given to other Christians,” he noted.