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December 1975

Set your hearts on his kingdom first, and on his righteousness, and all these other things will be given you as well (Mt. 6, 33)

Material providence has always been one of the most mysterious aspects of the Christian life because it is part of the particular revelation of God made by Jesus: his fatherhood.

All of us have material worries: families struggle to reach the end of the month; leaders of civil and religious organizations try to keep their expenditure within the prescribed budget. Vast changes and upheavals daily disrupt the lives of peoples and nations in the attempt to find new economic assets.

Normally in the economic field, it is the "cold law" of competition which rules. So often we are told that economics is like physics and mathematics, with its own precise, inevitable cycles and patterns, and its forecasts which include unavoidable failures and crises. According to the economic text-books, very little can be done to change all this. But another book gives us the true law which rules economic events on earth-the law proclaimed by Jesus: "Set your hearts on his kingdom first, and on his righteousness, and all these other things will be given you as well." Jesus also says, "I tell you solemnly, there is no one who has left house, brothers, sisters, father, children or land for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not be repaid a hundred times over, houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and land-not without persecutions - now in this present time and, in the world to come, eternal life." (Mk. 10, 29-30.)

This law reveals the mystery of the meeting between the human and the divine. Economic laws certainly have their value, but we will never grasp the logic behind the world's great happenings, unless we bear in mind that economic affairs are also governed by divine providence.

Heaven exists as well as earth and heaven has promised to step in and come to the aid of the small men of earth if it is first of all on heaven that they have set their hearts. This is not a fairy-tale. It is the daily experience of many fathers and mothers, the experience of the church, of religious founders and the modern-day apostles of material charity.

God intervenes in human affairs as often as men desire it, placing their lives at his disposition. This is an experience for all Christians.

Pasquale Foresi

 

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