The exhortation of Deuteronomy: ‘For the poor will never cease out of the land; therefore I command you, “You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor in the land.” ~24S Jesus makes these words his own: ‘The poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.’249 In so doing he does not soften the vehemence of former oracles against ‘buying the poor for silver and the needy for a pair


of sandals. . .‘, but invites us to recognize his own presence in the

poor who are his brethren:25° When her mother reproached her for caring for the poor and the sick at home, St Rose of Lima said to her: ‘When we serve the poor and the sick, we serve Jesus. We must not fail to help our neighbours, because in them 786 we serve Jesus.’25’


2450 ‘You shall not steal’ (Ex 2o:15; Dt 5:19). ‘Neither thieves, nor the greedy. . ., nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God’ (i Cor 6:io).

2451 The seventh commandment enjoins the practice ofjustice and charity in the administration of earthly goods and the fruits of men’s labour.

2452 The goods of creation are destinedfor the entire human race. The right to private property does not abolish the universal destination of goods.

2453 The seventh commandment forbids theft. Theft is the usurpation of another’s goods against the reasonable will of the owner.

2454 Every manner of taking and using another’s property unjustly is contrary to the seventh commandment. The injustice committed requires reparation. Commutative justice requires the restitution of stolen goods.

2455 The moral law forbids acts which, for commercial or totalitarian purposes, lead to the enslavement of human beings, or to their being bought, sold or exchanged like merchandise.

2456 The dominion granted by the Creator over the mineral, vegetable and animal resources of the universe cannot be separated from respect for moral obligations, including those towards generations to come.

2457 Animals are entrusted to man’s stewardship; he must show them kindness. They may be used to serve the just satisfaction of man’s needs.