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Life in Christ

587

VI.

L

ove

for

the

P

oor

2443

God blesses those who come to the aid of the poor and

rebukes those who turn away from them: “Give to him who begs

from you, do not refuse him who would borrow from you”; “you

received without pay, give without pay.”

232

It is by what they

have done for the poor that Jesus Christ will recognize his chosen

ones.

233

When “the poor have the good news preached to them,”

it is the sign of Christ’s presence.

234

2444

“The Church’s love for the poor . . . is a part of her constant

tradition.” This love is inspired by the Gospel of the Beatitudes, of

the poverty of Jesus, and of his concern for the poor.

235

Love for

the poor is even one of the motives for the duty of working so as

to “be able to give to those in need.”

236

It extends not only to

material poverty but also to the many forms of cultural and relig­

ious poverty.

237

2445

Love for the poor is incompatible with immoderate love

of riches or their selfish use:

Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that

are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your

garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have rusted,

and their rust will be evidence against you and will eat your

flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure for the last days.

Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields,

which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the

harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You

have lived on the earth in luxury and in pleasure; you have

fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have con­

demned, you have killed the righteous man; he does not

resist you.

238

2446

St. John Chrysostom vigorously recalls this: “Not to enable

the poor to share in our goods is to steal from them and deprive

them of life. The goods we possess are not ours, but theirs.”

239

“The

demands of justice must be satisfied first of all; that which is

already due in justice is not to be offered as a gift of charity”:

240

232

Mt

5:42; 10:8.

233 Cf.

Mt

25:31-36.

234

Mt

11:5; cf.

Lk

4:18.

235

CA

57; cf.

Lk

6:20-22,

Mt

8:20;

Mk

12:41-44.

236

Eph

4:28.

237 Cf.

CA

57.

238

Jas

5:1-6.

239 St. John Chrysostom,

Hom. in Lazaro

2, 5: PG 48, 992.

240

AA

8 § 5.

2544-2547

786, 525

544, 853

1716

2536

2547

2402