Free Essay: Catholic Views on Poverty and Wealth
Catholics are Christians whose teachings and beliefs are drawn from the Holy Bible. However, their views on poverty and wealth may sometimes vary from those of other religious societies of the Christian faith. Wealth is generally defined as material possessions that are enough to meet the basic needs of the owner and even cater for luxuries. Poverty on the other hand is a state of insufficiency, whereby one is unable to even afford essentials like food, shelter and clothing.
According to the Catholic teachings, wealth is not bad. In fact, wealth is good if you have earned it through hard work since that is what the Lord requires. Catholics believe that God does not like people who are lazy, thus, every person has a responsibility to work hard towards acquiring wealth. However, the hard work should be exercised on legal means of earning or forms of employment. On the contrary, Catholics view it as bad, if someone is wealthy and greedy such that he or she does not want to share it with poor.
Catholic advocates for earning of wealth through the rightful means that are required by God as well as the authorities that we have on earth like the government. Adherents to the Catholic religion, however, condemn wealth that is earned through ways that are not morally acceptable like drug dealing. They say that people who earn wealth through such avenues are not true followers of Jesus Christ.
Just like other Christians, Catholics believe that wealth is a gift from God, which can either be used for evil of good. Thus, wealth is not generally a bad thing but our attitudes towards material gains are what change the subject. It is stated that having a wrong attitude towards money can drive someone away from God, thus, a true Catholic should always obtain wealth through righteous means. The teachings of Catholic reveal that a man’s ability to gain material possessions is from God and should not be used in an immoral or unlawful way.
In Mark 10:21–23, Jesus told his Disciples of the parable of the Rich Young Man, highlighting the difficulties that the wealthy go through in order to enter the Kingdom of God. In the parable, Jesus was approached by a young man who was quite wealthy but was constantly disturbed on how he could surely enter the Kingdom of God, what he could do in order to gain eternal life. Jesus replied and told him to follow the commandments of God if he wanted to get eternal life.
The Rich Man told Jesus that he had obeyed all the commandments since childhood. Jesus replied and told him to go and sell all his possessions and give the proceeds to the poor in order to have riches in heaven. According to Catholic teachings, this parable does not mean that the rich have to sell all their wealth and give to the poor, however, it stresses on the need for those with wealth to share with the poor since we are all children of God.
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