Poverty and the vocation of business

 

In a recent address at Catholic University of America, commentator Michael Novak began:

Pope Francis, in his Evangelii gaudium, wrote: “Business is a vocation, and a noble vocation, provided that those engaged in it see themselves challenged by a greater meaning in life; this will enable them truly to serve the common good by striving to increase the goods of this world and to make them more accessible to all.”

He then argued,

“The business vocation is the main support of the multitude of institutions of civil society – the main support of private universities, cancer clinics, soup kitchens, symphonies, hospitals for the poor, sports activities both in neighborhoods and in major cities, service organizations such as Lions Clubs, the Rotary, Kiwanis, the Elks, the support of religious activities without number.”

and added:

“When he was the age of most of you in this room, then, Jesus was helping run a small business. There on a hillside in Nazareth, he found the freedom to be creative, to measure exactly, and to make beautiful wood-pieces. Here he was able to serve others, even to please them by the quality of his work. Here he helped his family earn its own way. Creativity, exactitude, quality, beauty, service to others, independence – this was the substance of his daily life. In preparation for all that was to come.”

Read more here.

Image: Mattheus van Helmont, “An Alchemist with Assistants in a Laboratory.”  Courtesy of the Grohmann Museum at the Milwaukee School of Engineering.

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MISSION:WORK is a place where conversation happens about work and faith. We cover topics ranging from daily life in the workplace, to what the Bible says about work and vocation, to economic systems and their relationship to Christian beliefs, to how to know if God is calling you to a specific job, to how the local church can better equip workers. We draw on content from several other websites pondering these issues, including Theology of Work Project, The High Calling, The Oikonomia Network, the Acton Institute, and the Kern Pastors Network, to find stories, testimonies, tips, biblical wisdom, and challenges for individuals, businesses, pastors, and civic leaders as we work to create a society where God's economy brings human flourishing for all.

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