The claim is similar to that of the anointing scene at Bethany when Mary (Martha’s sister) took a pound of costly ointment for pure nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. But Judas Iscariot, one of Jesus’s disciples (he who was to betray him), said, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred dinarii (one year of individual income) and given the money to the poor?” (Matthew 26:9, Mark 14:5, John 12:5)
Indeed, many will say nowadays, especially during this time of pandemic, that the Church should ‘walk the talk’ and sell her wealth and help the poor and those affected by the crisis. I hope those who are demanding this really care about the poor and not because of their hatred against the Church? If they genuinely care about the poor then they are not like Judas who really did not care of the poor but himself (John 12:6). Perhaps they just need some enlightenment.
We have to let them know that the Catholic Church is helping the poor since 30 A.D when our Lord Jesus Christ started his ministry. The apostles were imitators of Christ and this practice has been handed over from generations to generations. The Catholic Church (Not the Vatican) is currently the largest non-governmental provider of education and medical services in the world*.
Please take some time reading these short articles about the wealth that the Catholic Church does not have.
The World Bank tells us that there are about 10% of the world population who are living in extreme poverty. They earn less than $1.90 a day. Can the Vatican’s Wealth End the suffering of 700M people?Read more Can Vatican’s Wealth End World Poverty?
Let us serve Christ and the Church in all circumstances!
God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7) and charity covers over a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8).
Besides donating to local chapels or parishes, My wife and I committed to help other charitable institutions that are very close to our hearts. It’s a culture we want our children to see as they grow up. After all, we are taught to love our neighbor especially and particularly those who are in hard living conditions. It is impossible to help them all but all of us are invited, by the examples of Jesus and the apostles, to help those who are in need.
My wife and I follow these four rules when donating or helping:
The donation should cause us happiness because God loves a cheerful giver.
Charity covers a multitude of sin. We make sure our donation comes with a prayer and including a petition from God for the forgiveness of our venial sins.
Our family’s needs first. If something comes up, then we pause or minimize the amount until we can recover financially.
The charity institution should promote moral values.
Because of this, and other reasons too, we are not very consistent with the amount (and the frequency) of help we give but these four organizations are the first ones we think of every single salary day. We love these charities because of the fruitful works they are doing. We can see their dedication as they offer their lives working full time with their beneficiaries whom they consider to be Jesus himself (Matthew 25:31-46).
World Villages for Children
I am a graduate of the Sisters of Mary (or World Villages for Children). I was provided free secondary education, free clothing, free clothes, free spiritual direction, etc. Like myself, only selected (the poorest in local communities) can be admitted to the school. Currently, the Sisters of Mary takes care of about 20,000 High School students in seven countries. And when I say “take care” it means everything including healthy meals three times a day. The program aims for their graduates two things: that (1) with the vocational skills they learned, they can help their parents and siblings financially, and, (2) with the spiritual formation they have, they may be able become witnesses of Jesus Christ in the world.
Missionaries of the Poor
The Missionaries of the Poor started in Jamaica by a diocesan priest Father Ho Lung. He found an absence or lack of family life and a sense of community so he founded the “Brothers of the Poor” in 1981. They aim to build family and community among the poor and disadvantaged. Currently they have 12 mission sites of which three are in the Philippines. For those who want to experience their charity works and their spiritual life one can opt to be a volunteer for few weeks in one of their missions. An experience I have been longing for years!
Caritas Manila is very responsive to the urgent needs of Filipinos whenever there are calamities, natural disasters, pandemic, etc. They are also the closest NGO to prisoners. In 2014, close to 8,000 parolees and jail residents benefited from their Pa-Release-Me program which includes paralegal, religious, educational, livelihood, and medical services. Like the Sisters of Mary, they also take care of the educational needs of youths through their YSLEP program. One can sponsor a student for 3,000 pesos a month.
This is a new organization led by the current vice president of the Philippines, Leni Robredo. The stories of those who benefited from Angat Buhay are so inspiring. Many have been lifted from extreme poverty to a living that provides sufficient income to support a family. They also have many other programs that benefits lots of people in many different sectors and areas in the country. I hope the program continues with or without her.
Right-minded people feel happy and inspired when seeing posts about charitable works. So, I hope this post inspires you to continue to do your part in helping Jesus in the person of the poor. He is in the homeless, naked, prisoners, sick, hungry, and the thirsty.
Let us serve Christ and the Church in all circumstances!