Theme 1: What keeps us apart?
- identify and analyze examples of prejudice
- suggest ways that they could respond with compassion to situations of injustice
- demonstrate an understanding of how responding with com- passion leads to peace
- Christian justice is rooted in love. It is based not only on fairness, but also on mercy and compassion.
- Compassion is the ability to feel and act with and for another. It is not pity.
- Respect for the human person considers the other “another self.” It presupposes respect for the fundamental rights that flow from the dignity intrinsic to the person. (CCC #1944)
- Peace is the fruit of justice.
- “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matthew 5.6).
Theme 2: How much is enough?
- identify social justice issues
- perceive the challenge of God’s preferential option for the poor
- use the preferential option for the poor as the criterion for analyzing social injustice issues
- acknowledge that the love of God for all people demands justice
- “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5.10).
- “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God” (Luke 6.20).
- As Christians we are called to see that a wide variety of issues are issues of justice: for example, poverty, unjust labour practices, immigration, refugees, ecology, unemployment, consumer justice, land use.
- Christian justice challenges individuals and society to work for the kingdom of God. Promoting justice is not an option for Christians – it is an integral part of our mission.
- The Church informs our judgment of social justice issues.
- Christians are called to respond to God’s love by making changes to address injustice in the world.
- The preferential option for the poor colours the Christian understanding of justice.
Theme 3: How can the earth survive?
- define justice in terms of respect for the integrity and balance of creation
- explain how justice is a demand of natural law
- evaluate their lifestyle in terms of its ecological impact
- identify the correlation between their relationship with God and their relationship with others and the earth
- “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth” (Matthew 5.5).
- Justice is both a demand and an outcome of natural law.
- The earth is ultimately a common heritage, the fruits of which are for the benefit of all.
- Modern society will find no solution to the ecological problem unless it takes a serious look at its lifestyle.
- Contact with nature has deep restorative power that can impart peace and serenity.
- The commitment of believers to a healthy environment for everyone stems directly from their belief in God the creator.
- Humanity’s dominion over inanimate and other living beings granted by the Creator is not absolute; it is limited by concern for the quality of life of one’s neighbour, including generations to come; it requires a religious respect for the integrity of creation (CCC # 2415).