In this essay I intend to analyse the above statement and hope to come to a justified conclusion. One point to consider is if there were no rich people then there would not be able to give to the poor. Also it is necessary to be rich so that people know what poverty is. On the other hand the rich people should give money to those who do not have enough to survive rather than spend the money on pleasures they do not need, for example Ferraris. Is it fair to people who have worked hard all their life and gained wealth fairly to give to the poor?
In some places poverty is considered a test and is suffered so that the tested may go to heaven, for example in Indonesia people believe that the tsunami was an act of God and have henceforth closed all casinos and gambling places along the shores. There is a parable in the Bible that tells us about what we should do with our money. In this parable it compares money to talents; it is called the Parable of the Talent (Matt C18 :v24) and it is a story about a rich man giving his talents away to his servants.
This is significant in this question because the rich man rewarded the servant who made the most of his talents so the rich man is symbolic of God and he is giving talents (money) to his people and he is only pleased if we use what we get wisely and make the most of it. This shows money could be a gift from God and to not use this gift to the full would be foolish. But the CCC (Catechism of the Catholic Church) states that “Christians have a duty and an obligation and a responsibility to help those that cannot help themselves”.
There is a conflicting Bible passage , the story of Lazarus (Luke C16,v19-25) who was a beggar that lived outside a rich man’s mansion and longed to eat the straps from the rich man’s table but he died of hunger. At the same time the rich man died. The rich man ended up going to Hell whereas the beggar went to Heaven. The rich man could not understand this and begged Lazarus who was sitting at Abraham’s side, please come down and quench my thirst , but Abraham told him No, and he was left in Hell.
He was kept in Hell because he had had a life filled with luxuries and did not help anyone else, he was completely selfish. Though not evil just the fact of having so much and not helping Lazarus condemned him to an eternity in Hell. Even when he was aware of the beggar he still choose to ignore him and was therefore not welcome in Heaven. But from another angle some people have gone through a lot of hardship to get their money – is it fair on them to have to give their well earned money to others, or if you get your money through the will of a close relative should that also be given to charity ?
Some people feel it is not our responsibility to give our money to others but if that is the case whose responsibility is it ? All people are made in the image of God (Genesis C1 v 1-26) and therefore if you don’t help the poor you are not following in the way God created us and intended us to follow. But when the charitable offerings are made “your right hand should not know what your left hand is doing”. It is Christians’ duty and obligation to help the poor.
An example, in the widow’s offering (Mark C12 v41-44) it is not the value of the offering but that she gave all that she had compared to those with abundance who gave much. But as a warning to those who do not give anything to anyone Jesus told the Parable of the sheep and goat in which he said at the end of the world I will be there and separate the sheep from the goat – those who followed my word and those who did not. In conclusion my personal view , even though I am a Catholic ,is I do not think people should have to give excessively to charity.
I feel that people should be made aware of those who suffer and as Christians should act and help them but not to the point where they themselves become unable to feed themselves. So charity in moderation would be my view. I do not think it is fair on those that have worked hard to give their money away however it comes down to a matter of personal choice. The teachings of the Catholic faith are clear – we must love others as ourselves and do unto others as we would want done to us.