Saturday, December 13, 2014

Social Gospel of the Church

The Desk Column and the editorial in the Catholic Times presents us with thoughts on the 'Social Gospel Awareness Week' which follows Human Rights Sunday, the second Sunday of Advent. 

The columnist mentions the respect he has for a friend who  graduated from one of the three premier colleges in Korea, SKY: Seoul National University, Korea University and Yonsei University. Not only graduated from one of the best schools but is a member of a  well known Protestant Church, and lives in one of the better areas of Seoul. However, he has been labelled a follower of the North (meaning for many with Communist sympathies).

He is not overly concerned with this turn of events and found some encouragement from Pope Francis' words while in Korea concerning the North. He feels that his friends just don't understand him, and still has a bright disposition.

There are many who have a wrong understanding of what the Social Gospel is all about, and think that it should not be our concern. This he says is not understanding what Catholicism is all about, for it has to do with the ten commandments, and living them in our daily lives.

The teaching of the Social Gospel appears in the Catechism of the Catholic Church in part three:Life in Christ. When we refuse to accept this teaching we are abandoning what it means to be Catholic. The popes  in their exhortations, encyclicals, pronouncements have made this our formal teaching. We are able to see life in society, politics, economy, labor, peace, the environment, life, human rights, and many other issues with the vision that comes from the Gospels.

The Church is like a boat making its way on a rough  ocean. We  need a compass to find the way.The Social Gospel is the compass that shows us the way. When we refuse this direction we are only accepting half of what Jesus has given us. Can we call this  a mature faith life?

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