“Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of the least of my brothers, you did it for me.” Matthew 25:40
The mission to which Christ calls the Church clearly includes works of charity and justice. Throughout his public ministry, Jesus demonstrated the degree to which we are to provide service to others in need while working to change the social conditions that create such needs. The Church is called both to direct service (works of charity, like providing food, clothing and shelter) and to address the root causes of social problems (works of justice, like changing an unjust law or social structure).
“The Church cannot neglect the service of charity any more than she can neglect the Sacraments and the Word. . . . Those who are able to make offerings in accordance with their means. . . to support orphans, widows, the sick, and those who for other reasons find themselves in need, such as prisoners and foreigners.”– Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est, no. 22
“To love is to give, to offer what is ‘mine’ to the other; but it never lacks justice, which prompts us to give the other what is ‘his’, what is due to him by reason of his being or his acting. I cannot ‘give’ what is mine to the other, without first giving him what pertains to him in justice…. Not only is justice not extraneous to charity, not only is it not an alternative or parallel path to charity: justice is inseparable from charity, and intrinsic to it.” (Pope Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, no. 6)
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