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Michael Maher S.J.Jul 1, 2024 12:00:00 AM< 1 min read

1 July 2024

Monday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

The first reading for today continues the theme of the dignity of the human person. According to the prophet Amos, judgement will weigh heavy on those who take advantage of those for whom physical needs are outside their grasp. The presumption of course is that the poor are still images of God, and their degradation was seen by the prophets as an attack on God. The late 19th century witnessed two very separate understandings of the human person. One position argued for an understanding of a fundamental inequality of the human person which allowed for a preferential choice towards a better type of person. This view of the stronger type succeeding became the basis of eugenics and its primary means of implementation, racism. The Catholic church always preached the commonality of the human person and argued for only one race, with the emphasis being on humanity’s common dignity of being created in the image and likeness of God. It was this understanding of the human person that propelled so many to work towards the care of the body in hospitals and the education of the mind in schools.