GDC 103: “A message of liberation”

The message of catechesis is “A message of liberation,” as the section 103-104 is headed.

103. The Good News of the Kingdom of God, which proclaims salvation, includes a “message of liberation”. (cf. Evangelii Nuntiandi 30-35) In preaching this Kingdom, Jesus addressed the poor in a very special way: “Blessed are you poor, yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you that hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you that weep now, for you shall laugh” (Lk 6,20-21) The Beatitudes of Jesus, addressed to those who suffer, are an eschatological proclamation of the salvation which the Kingdom brings. They note that painful experience to which the Gospel is so particularly sensitive: poverty, hunger and the suffering of humanity. The community of the disciples of Jesus, the Church, shares today the same sensitivity as the Master himself showed them. With great sorrow she turns her attention to those “peoples who, as we all know, are striving with all their power and energy to overcome all those circumstances which compel them to live on the border line of existence: hunger, chronic epidemics, illiteracy, poverty, injustice between nations… economic and cultural neo-colonialism”. (Evangelii Nuntiandi 30) All forms of poverty, “not only economic but also cultural and religious” (Centesimus Annus 57; cf. Catechism 2444) are a source of concern for the Church.

As an important dimension of her mission, “the Church is duty bound—as her bishops have insisted—to proclaim the liberation of these hundreds of millions of people, since very many of them are her children. She has the duty of helping this liberation, of bearing witness on its behalf and of assuring its full development”. (Evangelii Nuntiandi 30)

To many Catholics, the distinction between charity and justice is indiscernible. Also, “liberation” has suspicious political connotations, further preventing this aspect of the Gospel message to be heard and engaged. And yet Church teaching is bluntly clear: the Church has a “duty” to promote liberation and to place its weight behind the development of justice, especially for the poor.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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