As Catholics, we are called to live first for the wellbeing of others. Particularly because we are Americans, living in a land of plenty, our membership in the Catholic faith community obligates us to look beyond our borders to assist those who are suffering so gravely all over the world. Jesus' invocation in Matthew 25 compels us to look into Africa and see our own sons and daughters in the faces of those beset there by poverty and illness.
The director of Catholic Democrats, Dr. Patrick Whelan, spoke last week at the United Nations on the biology of human interdependence, and how such an understanding obligates us to help attain the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. These eight shared aims, endorsed by the UN General Assembly last year, might well have come straight out of the Gospels: they emphasize our shared responsibility to meet the most basic of human needs for all God's children:
1. Eradicate extreme poverty & hunger
2. Universal primary education
3. Gender equality
4. Reduce child mortality
5. Improve maternal health
6. Combat HIV, malaria, other disease
7. Environmental sustainability
8. Global partnership for development
More information is available at http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals.
Endorsing goals like these is the kind of creative example that we as fathers and mothers are called to set for our children. It almost goes without saying that we must become exemplars of creativity in solving the problems in our lives, and not be teaching our children by example that violence or anger are acceptable means toward achieving a better world.
The Millennium Development Goals deserve our individual attention. Let us reaffirm the notion of a stewardship in this world that magnifies the Lord, rather than the pursuit of selfish aims that indiscriminately hurt others in the process—to chose creative solutions over destructive ones, life over death.