I am concerned about Catholics who want to cut back on government social services for the poor rather than to improve and expand them -access to health care very much included. I would like to remind those who think in this direction that the number one criteria for judging the morality of the nation lies in how we care for the poor and vulnerable.
Listen to the words of Jeremiah the prophet: “Do what is right and just. Rescue the victim from the hand of his oppressor. Do not wrong or oppress the resident alien, the orphan, or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood.” Jer.22:3Christ fulfilled the words of the prophet with his new commandment: “Love one another as I have loved you.” Jn.13:34These words are not just for a select group of Christians but for all the followers of Christ, those who identify as Christians. The words of Jeremiah, however, are broader and hold for all people who want to live rightly.The words of Jeremiah apply to whatever aspect of life and work we consider. In particular, I would like to direct the prophet’s words at this time to our political leaders. Those in government positions of authority who do not do what is right for the immigrant and the poor in this country abuse their responsibility.In a special way, I would remind my brothers and sisters in Christ, that those who weaken care for the poor, including the immigrant, will face judgment on the last day.“Love one another as I have loved you.” This is the highest calling of the Christian in following and imitating Christ.Doing what is right and just is incumbent upon all.