Saturday, February 19, 2011

"Give to the one who asks of you": aid to the poor and all in need demonstrates love for the poor Christ, present in His Body the Church

"Should anyone press you into service for one mile,
go for two miles.
Give to the one who asks of you,
and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow."

All that we have, both material and spiritual, are gifts from the heavenly Father, on loan as it were and to be shared with all.

" '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. 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.' It extends not only to material poverty but also to the many forms of cultural and religious poverty." (CCC 2444)

Every human person is a sister or brother. The love of Christ demands of us that we treat them as such.

"The principle of solidarity, also articulated in terms of 'friendship' or 'social charity,' is a direct demand of human and Christian brotherhood.

"An error, 'today abundantly widespread, is disregard for the law of human solidarity and charity, dictated and imposed both by our common origin and by the equality in rational nature of all men, whatever nation they belong to. This law is sealed by the sacrifice of redemption offered by Jesus Christ on the altar of the Cross to his heavenly Father, on behalf of sinful humanity.' (CCC 1939)
Within our liturgy, the highest prayer of the Christian people, we have the collection and the offering of our gifts, to include monetary ones, as an expression of the love of Christ and a means of solidarity with everyone in need of any kind.

"From the very beginning Christians have brought, along with the bread and wine for the Eucharist, gifts to share with those in need. This custom of the collection, ever appropriate, is inspired by the example of Christ who became poor to make us rich:

"Those who are well off, and who are also willing, give as each chooses. What is gathered is given to him who presides to assist orphans and widows, those whom illness or any other cause has deprived of resources, prisoners, immigrants and, in a word, all who are in need."
(CCC 1351)

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