A new gospel is being taught in this capitalist and materialist society we live in: “The rich are not obliged to help the poor.” As Catholics, we cannot hold such views since these contradict the Church’s teaching on the Corporal Works of Mercy. (Matt 25:34-45).
1 John 3:17 – “If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”
Proverbs 14:31 – “He that oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker: but he that honors him has mercy on the poor.”
Proverbs 28:27 – “Those who give to the poor will lack nothing, but those who close their eyes to them receive many curses.”
Proverbs 31:8-9 “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
(Note: To refuse helping the poor willingly can lead to damnation: See – Luke 16:22-24, Matt 25:41-46).
St. Ambrose: “You are not making a gift of your possessions to the poor person. You are handing over to him what is his. For what has been given in common for the use of all, you have arrogated to yourself. The world is given to all, and not only to the rich.”
St. John Chrysostom – “The rich are in possession of the goods of the poor, even if they have acquired them honestly or inherited them legally.”
The Didache – “Share everything with your brother. Do not say, “It is private property.” If you share what is everlasting, you should be that much more willing to share things which do not last.”
Pope Pius X – “I was born poor, I lived in poverty, I wish to die poor.”