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Life in Christ

589

2449

Beginning with the Old Testament, all kinds of juridical

measures (the jubilee year of forgiveness of debts, prohibition of

loans at interest and the keeping of collateral, the obligation to

tithe, the daily payment of the day-laborer, the right to glean vines

and fields) answer the exhortation of

Deuteronomy:

“For the poor

will never cease out of the land; therefore I command you, ‘You

shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the

poor in the land.’”

249

Jesus makes these words his own: “The poor

you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”

250

In

so doing he does not soften the vehemence of former oracles

against “buying the poor for silver and the needy for a pair of san­

dals . . . ,” but invites us to recognize his own presence in the poor

who are his brethren:

251

When her mother reproached her for caring for the poor and

the sick at home, St. Rose of Lima said to her: “When we

serve the poor and the sick, we serve Jesus. We must not fail

to help our neighbors, because in them we serve Jesus.

252

IN BRIEF

2450

“You shall not steal” (

Ex

20:15;

Deut

5:19). “Neither

thieves, nor the greedy . . . , nor robbers will inherit

the kingdom of God” (

1 Cor

6:10).

2451

The seventh commandment enjoins the practice of

justice and charity in the administration of earthly

goods and the fruits of men’s labor.

2452

The goods of creation are destined for the entire hu­

man race. The right to private property does not abol­

ish the universal destination of goods.

2453

The seventh commandment forbids theft. Theft is the

usurpation of another’s goods against the reasonable

will of the owner.

2454

Every manner of taking and using another’s property

unjustly is contrary to the seventh commandment.

The injustice committed requires reparation. Commu­

tative justice requires the restitution of stolen goods.

249

Deut

15:11.

250

Jn

12:8.

251

Am

8:6; cf.

Mt

25:40.

252 P. Hansen,

Vita mirabilis

(Louvain, 1668).

1397

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