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Today's Gospel + short theological explanation

Wednesday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time

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Gospel text (Lk 14:25-33): Great crowds were traveling with Jesus, and he turned and addressed them, “(…) Which of you wishing to construct a tower does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if there is enough for its completion? Otherwise, after laying the foundation and finding himself unable to finish the work (…)."

The moral responsibility in the economic activity

Fr. Antoni CAROL i Hostench (Sant Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain)

Today, we assume Jesus’ appeal for prudence (“sitting down first to count the cost”), by placing it in the context of economic activity, in which the global crisis is not alien to the widespread “deficit” of prudence (“greediness is one of the main dangers” said Saint John Paul II).

The essence of the economic activity-action is something very simple: we must allocate our (limited) resources to alternative purposes (we cannot do everything). This “allocation exercise” is something we all do, every day, in all our activities (time, studies, purchasing, we choose a spouse, etc.). This “economical rationality” is profoundly ethical: where there is choice of purposes there is moral responsibility (we choose purposes according to our understanding of man).

- History shows that this process of resources allocation to alternative objectives usually turns out to be “inconsistent”, incoherent: we begin to build “houses” that we’ll not be able to finish or try things that are impossible and/or useless. And this happens at personal, family, entrepreneurial and institutional levels. The appeal for prudence and temperance is a demand of ethics and of economical wisdom.