Familiar to everyone who is connected with social justice is the story of villagers by a river, which goes something like this: One day a body floats down the river, and the villagers rescue it. The next day, more bodies begin to appear. The villagers continue to act responsibly and compassionately. But they never investigate what is happening up river to produce the bodies. In our Sunday Gospel we hear the familiar story of the good Samaritan, who rescues a man lying by the road, who had been assaulted by robbers. Catholics who I know are very like those villagers. They compassionately respond to bodies in their path — giving to many charities, personally helping homeless people, feeding people, and so on. It seems much harder for us to get involved in exploring why people have to be robbers in order to live, that is, to look at the systemic problems in our neighborhoods, states, nations and world that produce victims and victimizers. Social issues are very complex; inevitably politics is involved. But for Catholics, social concerns and social justice have been insisted on by popes as an essential part of Catholic faith for more than 100 years. How is it integral to your faith life? Compassion needs completion by action for systemic change and justice for all.
– Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia