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Life in Christ

583

IV.

E

conomic

A

ctivity and

S

ocial

J

ustice

2426

The development of economic activity and growth in pro­

duction are meant to provide for the needs of human beings.

Economic life is not meant solely to multiply goods produced and

increase profit or power; it is ordered first of all to the service of

persons, of the whole man, and of the entire human community.

Economic activity, conducted according to its own proper methods,

is to be exercised within the limits of the moral order, in keeping

with social justice so as to correspond to God’s plan for man.

209

2427

Human work

proceeds directly from persons created in the

image of God and called to prolong the work of creation by

subduing the earth, both with and for one another.

210

Hence work

is a duty: “If any one will not work, let him not eat.”

211

Work hon­

ors the Creator’s gifts and the talents received from him. It can also

be redemptive. By enduring the hardship of work

212

in union with

Jesus, the carpenter of Nazareth and the one crucified on Calvary,

man collaborates in a certain fashion with the Son of God in his

redemptive work. He shows himself to be a disciple of Christ by

carrying the cross, daily, in the work he is called to accomplish.

213

Work can be a means of sanctification and a way of animating

earthly realities with the Spirit of Christ.

2428

In work, the person exercises and fulfills in part the poten­

tial inscribed in his nature. The primordial value of labor stems

from man himself, its author and its beneficiary. Work is for man,

not man for work.

214

Everyone should be able to draw from work the means of

providing for his life and that of his family, and of serving the

human community.

2429

Everyone has the

right of economic initiative;

everyone

should make legitimate use of his talents to contribute to the

abundance that will benefit all and to harvest the just fruits of his

labor. He should seek to observe regulations issued by legitimate

authority for the sake of the common good.

215

209 Cf.

Gen

1:28;

GS

34;

CA

31.

210

2 Thess

3:10; cf.

1 Thess

4:11.

211 Cf.

Gen

3:14-19.

212 Cf.

LE

27.

213 Cf.

LE

6.

214 Cf.

CA

32; 34.

215 Cf.

LE

11.

1928

307

378

531

2834

2185