In this essay I am going to outline and explain the teaching on wealth and poverty. I am going to do this by using examples from parables that were told be Jesus. This issue is quite a difficult issue for Catholics and often it is a matter for their own consequence. Although, the churches teaching is quite clear on this issue. The word wealth means that you have a lot of money and in being wealthy means that you have enough money to buy luxuries and buying more than the essentials you need to live. The word poverty means that you do not have enough money to buy the essential items that you need to live e. g. Food and Water.
The Catholics teach that if you are wealthy, than that is not a bad thing if you have earned it by working hard in a career. However, if you are greedy with your wealth and keep it all for yourself then in the eyes of Catholics that is a bad thing. Also, if you have earned your wealth by doing something that is morally acceptable than you are not a true follower of Jesus. E. g. Being a Drug Dealer. Christians believe that wealth is a gift from God which can be used for either good or evil, so in itself is not a bad thing, it is our attitude towards wealth and material possessions that is at the heart of the issue.
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Consequently having the wrong attitude towards money can lead you away from God and therefore Christians should only gain money in a moral and lawful way, as it is a gift from God and not theirs along. Jesus taught his disciples in the parable of the ‘Rich Young Man’ (Mark 10:21-23) the difficulties the rich face in entering the kingdom of God. In the parable of the rich young man Jesus was approached by a man that ran up to him, knelt before him and asked Jesus what he must do to gain eternal life. Jesus told the young man to follow the commandments.
With this the man said that he had obeyed all the commandments since he was a young boy. So Jesus Replied “Sell all you have and give the money to the poor and you will have riches in heaven; then come and follow me. ” When the man heard this, gloom spread all over his face, and he went away sad, because he was very rich. When Jesus saw this he said to his disciples “It is harder for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle” This parable teaches us that even though people are willing to follow the commandments to follow Jesus they would not give up their money which they adore so much.
Even today there are still people who have lots of money that have earned it in a career or doing something successful in their life that spend there money on themselves or spend it on things that are illegal. For example Amy Winehouse is a professional singer who earns lots of money and loads of people like her music. She could have chose to donate some of her money to a charity to help the people in poverty but unfortunately she turned to drugs and alcohol. On the other hand you can get people that have a lot of money from earning it in a career and do give it to charity which is a good thing.
For example Bill Gates is the Co-Founder and Chairman of Microsoft Corporation and he earned his money through his career. Bill Gates who owns about 58 billion dollars regularly donates some of his money to charity and he even has his own charity to collect money to help the people in poverty as well. These type of people are what Catholics should be like by using their wealth for the benefit of others. If people are doing this and using their wealth wisely then this is ok.
In my essay I have explained that wealth in itself is not a bad thing if you have earned it and that it should not be earned by immoral means through exploitation. I have also stated that we should use our wealth for others and not be greedy as in the story of the rich young man and that we should use our money and wealth to help others like charity workers e. g. CAFOD. Some Christians think that they have earned their money so they shouldn’t help others because they worked hard for it and deserve it which is not the case. Christians have a duty to help those in need and help them where possible.