Friday, July 31, 2009

Material goods cannot be only goal for Christians, says Cardinal Rivera

The Archbishop of Mexico City, Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, said this week Christians should not make material goods the “goal or the absolute end of our mission.”

During the celebration of Sunday Mass, the cardinal explained that “the temporal commitment should be the expression of human fraternity, born of divine sonship, the materialization of the commandment of Christian love.”

He called it “scandalous that in our great city thousands of tons of food are wasted, and a mass number of people wander hungry through our streets, because there is no one to give them those riches that God made for all and not just for the few.”

“Man’s hunger is also spiritual,” the cardinal continued, and therefore “one’s social commitment cannot be separated from the commitment to spiritual salvation because religion then becomes distorted and alienating. The unity of the faith cannot be professed if it is not linked to love, to real love. Christ is not the revolutionary that the people are dreaming of, but neither is he a mystic separated from the world in which others live. Christ is the incarnate Son of God,” the cardinal said.

“The Church and every Christian must make Jesus present first in the production and multiplication of material goods and also in their distribution to those most in need,” he added.

“As long as there is one person dying of hunger, and there are thousands around us, we cannot shrug our shoulders as if we have nothing to do with it,” Cardinal Rivera counseled.

“We must not fall into the temptation that distributing material goods is the task of ‘the U.N. summits,’ of governments or institutions. They all have a responsibility, but as individuals we must contribute to satiating the hunger of the world,” the cardinal stressed. “And not only the hunger for food, but for education, health care, and all of the fundamental rights and needs of the human being.”

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