Biblical Aspects of Economic Life

In the Old Testament one finds a two-fold attitude towards the goods of an economy. On one hand there is an appreciation that material goods are available for use in maintaining life, and on the other hand economic goods and riches are not condemned but their misuse is.

The Old Testament shows that those who recognize their poverty before God, regardless of their material wealth or lack thereof, receive attention from God. Poverty is seen as an opening in which man can recognize and accepting creation as God made it, if one has an attitude of faith.

Jesus takes these Old Testament ideas and clarifies and expands on them. Man is called to render justice to the oppressed and poverty-stricken. Jesus shows us that economic activity is to be considered and undertaken as a grateful response to the vocation God has  given us each individually. All economic activity must be placed at the service of mankind and the common good.

Faith in Jesus makes it possible to correctly understand social development in the context of an integrated and solidary humanism.

Economic goods always have a universal destination. Any type of improper accumulation of wealth is immoral because in contradicts the universal destination of all goods created by God. Riches exist to be placed at the service of man; they fulfill their function when used for the good of others.

For a more detailed discussion of this topic, refer to the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, nos. 323-329.

About Deacon Bob

Moderator: Deacon Bob Yerhot of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota.
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