This article originally appeared on The New Theological Movement written by Reginaldus on July 29, 2010 Anno Domini. Re-posted with permission.
18th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Luke 12:13-21
The rich man of this Sunday’s Gospel is blessed with a bountiful harvest. Rather than thanking God for this gift, he hoards the grain in his barns – his heart is possessed by his possessions. At the moment of death, the Lord calls him a fool, for he was not rich in what matters to God.
The Fathers of the Church, and St. Thomas Aquinas following them, see in this parable a strong teaching of social justice. Their teachings have in turn been integrated into the Social Doctrine of the Church. Here we will consider St. Thomas’ exposition of the doctrine as well as several important quotations from the Church Fathers.?
The common destination of all goods and right to private property
We must first affirm that man has a right to own private property. All men have a natural right to make use of material goods. According to positive human law, men also have a right to private property – this is necessary for the good order of society and the proper care of the goods themselves, it also serves as a means of restraining greed and inciting toward generosity (a man can give alms only if he has some property of his own).
However, it is equally clear in the Church’s Tradition, as expressed by the Fathers of the Church and magisterial teachings, that the right to private property is subordinate to the universal destination of all goods. That is, the right to private property cannot be extended to the point of depriving others of the basic material necessities of life. Every man has the right to the material necessities of life – when he is deprived of these, while another has excess wealth, a grave injustice has occurred.
The drug problem in the United States, specifically cocaine, is very severe. The U.S. is the number one user of this drug in the entire world. Hollywood continues to glamorize the drug and the American public has an insatiable desire for it. Greed and gluttony play prominent roles in creating this epidemic. Many Americans seeking shortcuts to attaining the American dream sell drugs that feeds this gluttonous appetite for cocaine. Unfortunately there are serious side effects that aren’t as widely publicized.
What are often overlooked are the victims of this drug trade. Not necessarily those that are addicted to the drug simply because they chose to do so, but the innocent victims that are caught up in the drug trade. Especially those that stand up to drug traffickers like that of the Archbishop of Guadalajara, Mexico, Cardinal Juan Jesus Posadas Ocampo.