“The Kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it." Mt 13:46
Often great thinkers and saints come along at a time in church history when there is division, even chaos, and rage. St Francis of Assisi changed his society not by being upwardly mobile, but by choosing to live as a poor person among the poorest of the poor in Assisi. Thomas Becket famouly said: "I am ready to die for my Lord, that in my blood the Church may obtain liberty and peace. But in the name of Almighty God, I forbid you to hurt my people whether clerk or lay." And Mother Teresa of Calcutta saw a million people dying on the streets of Calcutta and decided to respond to them with love when no one else wanted to see them. All of them were pearls of great price.
Our task today seems very similar. Sometimes the Catholic church is known more for what it condemns than what it promotes, but even a quick view of the bishops document on Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship. (1) a comprehensive concern for the human family. While the press trumpets the church’s condemnation of abortion (not the woman who aborts!), the bishops remind us that we must have an “option for the poor and vulnerable,” and promote workers rights, just to name two, if we are going to have an authentically formed Catholic conscience.
Today, practice virtue and justice.
What do you think it means to be a faith filled citizen in the United States today?