painting Jesus rich young man other figures

Love of neighbor

If that were true which you have affirmed, that you have obeyed the commandment of love from youth (Mark 10:20), and have given to everyone as much as to yourself, whence, I ask, have you all this wealth? For the care of the poor consumes wealth, when each one receives a little for one’s needs, and all owners distribute their means simultaneously for the care of the needy. Hence, whoever loves the neighbor as oneself, will possess no more than one’s neighbor.

Yet it is plain that you have very many lands. Whence all these? Undoubtedly you have subordinated the relief and comfort of many to your convenience. Therefore, the more you abound in riches, the more you have been wanting in charity.

Basil the Great, Homilia in Divites, in Charles Avila, Ownership: Early Christian Teaching, Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2004, 50.

Image: “Christ and the rich young man,” Андрей Николаевич Миронов (A.N. Mironov), CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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