Justice and Solidarity Guarantee Peace Says John Paul II

Comments on the Gospel Passage of the Rich Man and the Poor Man Lazarus

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VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 26, 2004 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of John Paul II’s address at midday on Sunday, before praying the Angelus with pilgrims gathered in the courtyard of the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo.

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1. The Gospel of this Sunday proposes the parable of the rich man and the poor man Lazarus (see Luke 16,19-31). The rich man lives in opulence and luxury, unconcerned about the beggar who lies hungry at his door. But, after death, the situation is reversed: Lazarus is received in paradise, while the rich man ends in torments.

The teaching to be drawn from the parable is clear: everyone must make a solidaristic, not egotistic, use of his/her goods.

2. This famous evangelical page is more appropriate than ever in reference to the problem of the imbalance between wealth and indigence in today’s world. Precisely a few days ago, a very important meeting of Heads of State and Government was held in New York in favor of more solidaristic and effective action “against hunger and poverty.” Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state, also addressed the meeting, expressing the Holy See’s support for this new initiative.

The Catholic Church assures all her commitment to eradicate from the world the scourge of hunger and the other consequences of poverty. In this context, I am also pleased to recall the meeting of all the Apostolic Nuncios in Africa, held in recent days in the Vatican.

3. Let us pray to the Lord to sustain the efforts of the international community in favor of justice and solidaristic development. This is, in fact, the path that can guarantee a future of peace for the world.

We ask this through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, to whom we entrust in a special way the families and peoples most tested by the unjust distribution of the goods that God intends for all his children.

[Translation by ZENIT]

[After the Angelus, the Holy Father greeted pilgrims in several languages. In English, he said:]

This coming Thursday, Sept. 30, we are to celebrate World Maritime Day, organized by the United Nations. My thoughts go out to all who work at sea, and I pray that they may be able to live with dignity and security.

I greet the English-speaking pilgrims here today and I entrust you all to the loving protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Help of Christians.

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