Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Working for the Common Good

Pope John XXIII defined the common good as "the sum total of social conditions which allow people, either as groups or as individuals, to reach their fulfillment more fully and more easily" (Pacem in Terris # 55). Common  good is a term that appears often in the social teaching of the Church and a basic  concept.

A priest with a doctorate in social studies and now working in the labor apostolate sees the lack of  sensitivity for the common good as one of the  primary reasons for the  MERS epidemic, contagion and death that resulted from the epidemic. He writes about the spread of MERS in his column, and gives a great deal of the blame to seeking efficiency over the common good.

Information on the spread of the disease, and the name of the hospitals involved was not made known at the start, and keeping this secret did much to help  the spread of the disease: more  concern for private issues than for the  common good.

The desire of the Church is to work in the area of the common good. He finds the government retreating in the areas  of public health and promoting private health endeavors. This he also sees as a reason for some of the problems experienced during the MERS epidemic.  

His thoughts come  from reflection on creation. God gave the goods of creation to all of us. We should all benefit: not especially difficult to understand. There are times when a decision made will result in a loss either materially or in humiliation, but the public good benefits. The columnist gives blame for the quick development of capitalism in society where efficiency is everything. Medical care, education, labor, and lodging all become commodities in the market, and those who are sacrificed for efficiency we do not see.

In conclusion, he wants us to learn a lesson from the MERS epidemic. More than to maximize efficiency in our society we need to increase our concern in working for the common good, which will promote a more peaceful life for all. Also help us to live according to the order of creation and the road  we Christians are called to follow.      

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