Homily of Bishop Piotr Jarecki
Translation from the original Polish
(St. Mary's Church, Gdansk)
Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Jesus Christ!
We have come to Gdansk from different parts of Europe as representatives of the clergy, laity and of people young and old. This beautiful city Gdansk is a symbolic place where Solidarnosc, the civil movement of millions of Poles, was born. It played an important role in our common European history initiating democratic transition in Poland, which then spread across all over the Europe and the world. This is why we have chosen Gdansk as a place for a reflection on a principle and reality of solidarity in the European Union.
At the beginning of the First Catholic Social Days we listened to the lecture on the idea and the reality of solidarity in the European Union from the perspective of the Catholic Social Teaching. Further lectures and discussions were concentrated on the human person, family, European socio-economic model as vectors of solidarity. We have realized that the value and reality of solidarity in the European Union, is still an obligation and a task to accomplish. This is why we should keep making constant efforts to reflect on the principle of solidarity, especially with reference to the legislation and policies of the European Union.
The Holy Mass here in St Mary's Basilica, the biggest Polish church, is closing a second, busy day of our meeting in Gdansk. We pray to God, that this Catholic Social Days will strengthen a Christian inspiration of the European policies and the European Union itself in various aspects of its activities.
The liturgy of today's Gospel according to Saint Luke spoke of Jesus struggling with the Devil. That battle takes place in our souls. Luke's Gospel tells us that Jesus is much more stronger than Satan and has a power to cast him out from the human's heart. By God's grace we all have been released from our sins and from evil, first of all by God's grace in the sacrament of Baptism. Our good Lord also gave us sacraments of penance and reconciliation to strengthen us in this struggle. But we should never forget that our heart freed from evil, can not remain empty because Satan might return with redoubled force.
A heart which has been freed, should be filled up with Jesus Christ, His wisdom, love and power. A human person that is filled up with God remains ready to conduct His will and to shape the social reality he lives in. Here we can see the importance of formation, beliefs and a proper hierarchy of values in human's life. A human person, as well as a society, devoid of ideals paves the way to the Devil. He in turn destroys man and society, because he is the enemy of God and the enemy of man. We, as Christians - Catholics, should be witnesses to that truth especially to those who are shaping our social, economic, political and cultural reality, in the European Union. We should also pray to God for this intention, what we are doing these days in Gdansk.
Today's Gospel encourages us to accept the truth about the reality we live in. Such an attitude was missing among the people who watched Jesus when casting out demons. Those people had been using different methods to deny the fact that Jesus was casting out demons. They demanded a special sign from heaven, as a proof of His power to overcome the Devil. We do not know the reasons of their behavior - perhaps they desired to challenge His divinity. Unfortunately, even today there are people who commit the same mistakes. For various reasons they can not accept the truth about the reality they are facing. This is also a problem in the European Union. Is this not an example of those who deny the Christian roots of European civilization?
We all know that Christian values as well as church institutions, religious orders had and still have a great impact upon a shape of social life, political orders and forms of democracy in Europe. Nowadays there are people who try to deny that truth. They replace facts by ideology causing huge damage to the human person, the society as a whole and the common good. We, as believers, should never undermine the truth by following such an attitude. Not only by words, but first of all by actions, we should confirm our readiness to accept the reality, even the most difficult. Then we will be able to live in a truth.
Second example of denying reality and replacing her by ideology, refers first of all to the countries of the former Communist regime. We can see here a tendency to perceive a market economy as well as a democratic system as a perfect one and free of problems. This is the example how the reality is being replaced by an ideology.
During inauguration ceremony of the new academic year at the one of the most prestigious economic university in Poland, I was listening to the lecture of famous Polish economist, an icon of the economic transformation. He said that the present economic crisis was caused mainly by the state intervention in the financial sector. He denied the role of human greed and the separation of financial market from the real economy in this process. Christians however have got a different opinion on the reasons of economic crisis. His Holiness Benedict XVI in his latest encyclical Caritas in Veritate says: The great challenge before us, accentuated by the problems of development in this global era and made even more urgent by the economic and financial crisis, is to demonstrate, in thinking and behavior, not only that traditional principles of social ethics like transparency, honesty and responsibility cannot be ignored or attenuated, but also that in commercial relationships the principle of gratuitousness and the logic of gift as an expression of fraternity can and must find their place within normal economic activity. The Pope adds that a justice without love is not justice anymore.
Today's Gospel encourages us as Christians, to be objective in the evaluation of every social reality according to the dignity of the human being and of the common good. This is why initiatives like Catholic Social Days for Europe are important and necessary.
Brothers and Sisters! Let us pray, through the intercession of Virgin Mary and today's patron the blessed Wincenty Kadłubek, a thirteenth century bishop and historian of Poland, that our hearts will always be full of Gods presence and that we will be real witnesses of the truth. This could help us to build our common European home, where a dignity of each human being is recognized and fulfilled. Amen.
 Encyclical Letter Caritas in Veritate.