Key New Testament passages on...
Dignity of the Human Person and the Right to Life
The good Samaritan recognized the dignity in the other and cared for
I Corinthians 3:16-17
Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of
God dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy
that person; for the temple of God, which you are, is holy.
Every individual, precisely by reason of the mystery of the Word of God who was made flesh (cf. Jn 1:14), is entrusted to the maternal care of the Church. Therefore every threat to human dignity and life must necessarily be felt in the Church's very heart; it cannot but affect her at the core of her faith in the Redemptive Incarnation of the Son of God, and engage her in her mission of proclaiming the Gospel of life in all the world and to every creature (cf. Mk 16:15). Evangelium Vitae, #3
Human Rights and Responsibilities
The rich man has a responsibility to care for Lazarus.
There was not a needy person among them.
2 Corinthians 9:6-15
God’s gifts are given to be shared.
In human society one man's natural right gives rise to a corresponding duty in other men; the duty, that is, of recognizing and respecting that right. Every basic human right draws its authoritative force from the natural law, which confers it and attaches to it its respective duty. Hence, to claim one's rights and ignore one's duties, or only half fulfill them, is like building a house with one hand and tearing it down with the other. Pacem in Terris, #30
Call to Family, Community and Participation
This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you.
Life among the believers.
We are one body, individually members one of another.
1 John 4:19-21
Those who love God must love their brothers and sisters.
Economic and social policies as well as organization of the work world should be continually evaluated in light of their impact on the strength and stability of family life. The long-range future of this nation is intimately linked with the well-being of families, for the family is the most basic form of human community. Efficiency and competition in the marketplace must be moderated by greater concern for the way work schedules and compensation support or threaten the bonds between spouses and between parents and children. Economic Justice for All, #93
Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
Jesus proclaims his mission: to bring good news to the poor and
Blessed are the poor, theirs is the kingdom of God.
Matthew 25: 31-46
Just as you did it to the least of these, you did it to me.
1 John 3:17-18
How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s good and
sees one in need and refuses to help?
In teaching us charity, the Gospel instructs us in the preferential respect due to the poor and the special situation they have in society: the more fortunate should renounce some of their rights so as to place their goods more generously at the service of others. Octogesima Adveniens, #23
Dignity of Work and Rights of Workers
All workers should be paid a just and living wage.
The Sabbath was made for people, not people for the Sabbath.
Practice integrity in your work.
Those who become rich by abusing their workers have sinned against
The obligation to earn one's bread by the sweat of one's brow also presumes the right to do so. A society in which this right is systematically denied, in which economic policies do not allow workers to reach satisfactory levels of employment, cannot be justified from an ethical point of view, nor can that society attain social peace. Centesimus Annus, #43
Solidarity and the Common Good
1 Corinthians 12:12-26
If one member of Christ’s body suffers, all suffer. If one member is
honored, all rejoice.
1 John 3:16-18
The love of God in us is witnessed by our willingness to lay down our
lives for others as Christ did for us.
Solidarity is not a feeling of vague compassion or shallow distress at the misfortunes of so many people, both near and far. On the contrary, it is a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good; that is to say, to the good of all and of each individual, because we are all really responsible for all. Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, #38
Care for God’s Creation
God loves and cares for all of creation.
Creation reveals the nature of God.
1 Corinthians 10:26
Creation and all created things are inherently good because they are of
The environment is God's gift to everyone, and in our use of it we have a responsibility towards the poor, towards future generations and towards humanity as a whole. . . Our duties towards the environment are linked to our duties towards the human person, considered in himself and in relation to others. It would be wrong to uphold one set of duties while trampling on the other. Caritas in Veritate, #48, 51
Peace & Reconciliation
Blessed are the peacemakers, they will be called children of God.
Be reconciled to one another before coming to the altar.
2 Corinthians 5:17-20
God has reconciled us to himself through Christ and given us the
ministry of reconciliation.
God reconciled everything in Christ, making peace through the blood
of his cross.
Most characteristic of Jesus' actions are those in which he showed his love. As he had commanded others, his love led him even to the giving of his own life to effect redemption. Jesus' message and his actions were dangerous ones in his time, and they led to his death - a cruel and viciously inflicted death, a criminal's death (Gal. 3:13). In all of his suffering, as in all of his life and ministry, Jesus refused to defend himself with force or with violence. He endured violence and cruelty so that God's love might be fully manifest and the world might be reconciled to the One from whom it had become estranged. Even at his death, Jesus cried out for forgiveness for those who were his executioners: "Father, forgive them . . ." (Lk. 23:34).
Only in light of this can Jesus' gift of peace - a peace which the world cannot give (Jn. 14:27) - be understood. Jesus gives that peace to his disciples, to those who had witnessed the helplessness of the crucifixion and the power of the resurrection (Jn. 20:19, 20, 26). The peace which he gives to them as he greets them as their risen Lord is the fullness of salvation. It is the reconciliation of the world and God (Rom. 5:1-2; Col. 1:20); the restoration of the unity and harmony of all creation which the Old Testament spoke of with such longing.
Jesus Christ, then, is our peace, and in his death-resurrection he gives God's peace to our world. In him God has indeed reconciled the world, made it one, and has manifested definitely that his will is this reconciliation, this unity between God and all peoples, and among the peoples themselves. The way to union has been opened, the covenant of peace established. The risen Lord's gift of peace is inextricably bound to the call to follow Jesus and to continue the proclamation of God's reign…. Discipleship reaches out to the ends of the earth and calls for reconciliation among all peoples so that God's purpose, "a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him" (Eph. 1:10), will be fulfilled.
The fullness of eschatological peace remains before us in hope and yet the gift of peace is already ours in the reconciliation effected in Jesus Christ. These two profoundly religious meanings of peace inform and influence all other meanings for Christians. Because we have been gifted with God's peace in the risen Christ, we are called to our own peace and to the making of peace in our world. As disciples and as children of God, it is our task to seek for ways in which to make the forgiveness, justice and mercy and love of God visible in a world where violence and enmity are too often the norm. The Challenge of Peace
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