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Today's Gospel + short theological explanation

Wednesday 31st in Ordinary Time

Gospel text (Lk 14,25-33): One day, when large crowds were walking along with Jesus, He turned and said to them, «(…) Do you build a house without first sitting down to count the cost to see whether you have enough to complete it? Otherwise, if you have laid the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone will make fun of you: ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish’(…)».

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 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 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.