Catechism of the Catholic Church

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