Despised tax collector, Zacchaeus, is spotted by Christ in a tree:
If I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold (Luke 19).
Restitution maybe a boring topic, but essential to a free and just society. Keep reading:
Those who, directly or indirectly, have taken possession of the goods of another, are obliged to make restitution of them, or to return the equivalent in kind or in money if the goods have disappeared, as well as the profit or advantages their owner would have legitimately obtained from them.
Likewise, all who in some manner have taken part in a theft or who have knowingly benefited from it … are obliged to make restitution in proportion to their responsibility (CCC 2412).
What is our teaching on the value of money and property?
It is twofold:
You shall not steal (Exodus 20:15).
The commandment defends a fundamental human value.
Second, the social teaching of the Church affirms that:
All private property has a social mortgage on it (John Paul II).
We have a right to private property, but possession of it should include, not exclude, the use of it by others when they are in need – especially dire need.
This Post by Fr Tony Percy really hits the nail on the head.
Many families are in dire need throughout the World. Food, water, shelter and other BASIC needs are absent. Telling someone who is in need that you will pray for them is good. Prayer without works doesn’t cut the mustard.
Many modern-day Landlords could learn from Zacchaeus. They dont have to charge exorbitant rents. They dont have to boot out struggling families unable to pay rent increases.
As Fr Tony pointed out, Pope John Paul 11 stated that “All private property has a social mortgage on it”. How many holiday/investment houses and units are empty for long periods of time. Of course, helping others comes at a risk. Welcome to The Cross. “When i was hungry, cold and homeless, what did you do to help”.
Stop blaming the Government. The old JFK quote comes to mind, “Don’t ask what your Country can do for you, what can you do for your Country”?
Over the Centuries, many Hospitals, refuges and educational institutions were built because the Government did nothing. Is God giving us the opportunity to be Good Samaritans?