What Does The Church Say?


Option for the Poor and Vulnerable is one the themes of Catholic Social Teaching. Scripture shows that God hears the cry of the poor and expects us to respond with justice (EG 187-8). Jesus himself was born poor and was always close to the outcast. Pope Francis tells us that “today and always, the ‘poor are the privileged recipients of the Gospel.’” The Church must make it a priority to address the needs of those in poverty, because “there is an inseparable bond between our faith and the poor” (EG 48).

The U.S. bishops explain that, “As Christians, we are called to respond to the needs of all our brothers and sisters, but those with the greatest needs require the greatest response” (EJA 16).

Watch CST 101: Option for the Poor and Vulnerable to learn more.


Reflection Activity: Read The Workers in the Vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16). Discuss:

  • Which character do I most relate to in this reading?
  • ​Are there times in my life that I might have identified with other characters in the story?
  • ​​Is what happens in this story “fair”? Why or why not?
  • ​​Did the people who worked longer receive the wages that they agreed to?
  • ​Do you think these workers have complained if the landowner had paid the others less? Why?
  • Did anyone get less because someone else received the same amount?
  • Why were the people that the landowner found standing around not working?
  • Did anyone get less because someone else received the same amount?
  • The reading begins by saying that the kingdom of heaven is like this. What do you think that means?
  • (ask again) Is what happens in this story “fair”? Why or why not?