This morning I had the opportunity to talk about Catholic Social Teaching at St. Mark ACTS monthly community meeting. It gave me a reason to review and remind myself about this “best kept secret” that is one of the three constitutive elements of our faith: Scripture (Word), Sacrament (Worship) and Social Justice (World). Without tending to each of these dimensions our Christian commitment is weakened.
Action on behalf of social justice means that we stand on the two feet of Charity (direct service) and Justice (advocacy). I used the example of St. Mark’s service to the refugees at Nazareth Hall, providing the hot evening meal for two months at a time and assisting with donations of clothing and travel bags as well as rides to the bus and airport (direct service) but also advocating for comprehensive immigration reform. Both are important and necessary. This action on behalf of justice is rooted in several of the key themes of Catholic Social Teaching: reverence for life and human dignity, solidarity, care for the poor and vulnerable, and economic justice. And to sustain such action requires the nourishment of the Word and Sacrament in community.
I closed my presentation with a challenge that I take to heart myself: In the coming week I commit myself to examine how well my life of faith includes Scripture, Sacrament and Social Justice. And I will pay special attention to how well I walk on the two feet of Catholic Social Teaching: Charity and Justice.