Several days ago I posted a quote by St. John Chrysostom regarding the relationship between the rich and the poor. One thing we need to remember about Church fathers, and even Scripture to a certain point, is these were written to a particular people at a particular time in history. I received a few comments on the post but this one stands out:
I agree with St John Chrysostom “The duty of the rich is to share the harvest of their fields with all who work in them and with all in need.” The question I have is this not should we share (we should) but how should we share?
This is the eternal question. I am a firm believer that we cannot make people give. Forced charity is not charity at all charity needs to come from the heart. We have a Christian duty to help those who are less fortunate than us. Jesus constantly teaches that we must love one another. We cannot love someone and stand by and watch them suffer we have to help, that is if we are Christians.
So what do we do? Those of us who are preachers of the Gospel need to constantly remind our people about what is expected of us, and we as the church need to provide opportunities to help those less fortunate than us.
In the 12th chapter of the Gospel of St. Luke Jesus relates the parable of the servants waiting for the master to return. In the 48th verse of this chapter we read these words, “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.”
In these times of uncertainty, it is easy for us to look at those with much and think like Robin Hood and require the wealthy to provide more. That’s OK if they are willing, to do anything else would be well unChristian!