PopeWatch: Bear Growls: Helping the Poor


Our Bruin friend at Saint Corbinian’s Bear notes a troubling trend for the Church in this pontificate;

The Poor and the Costly Oil


Now when Jesus was in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came up to him with an alabaster jar of costly perfumed oil, and poured it on his head while he was reclining at table. When the disciples saw this, they were indignant and said, “Why this waste? It could have been sold for much, and the money given to the poor.” Since Jesus knew this, he said to them, “Why do you make trouble for the woman? She has done a good thing for me. The poor you will always have with you; but you will not always have me. In pouring this perfumed oil upon my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. Amen, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be spoken of, in memory of her

Matthew 26:6-13 (NABRE).

Care for the poor is part of the basic social justice and charity toward neighbor that God has always demanded. Yet here, the Apostles — Judas traditionally being the chief instigator — had lost sight of the supernatural nature of Jesus’ mission and His divinity. Jesus reminds them that their focus was in the wrong place.

The demagogue with his voters. The Communist with his proletariate. The Peronist with his descamisados. The Liberation Theologian with his poor. They withhold the oil from Jesus’ head.

Worst of all, there are prelates who see the Church as just another political party to pursue worldly goals. Having, perhaps, lost faith in God, they have fashioned for themselves an idol of The Poor, or, worse, their own love for The Poor. Such prelates are frauds if they burn for The Poor, but not for Christ and the salvation of souls. Once again, they have lost sight of the supernatural nature of Jesus’ mission and His divinity. Incredibly, they do not understand the purpose of the Church.

“The poor you will always have with you.” This is Jesus’ prophecy. Yet that is not what one hears today. If only we curb global warming. If only we redistribute wealth. If only we get rid of capitalism, then we could eliminate poverty. The poor we will not have anymore, for we have willed it, and our will be done on earth.

Go here to read the rest.  Helping the poor is one of the acts of charity that all Christians are called upon to perform.  This duty is not satisfied by screaming for Caesar to do something to help the poor.  We are called upon to help the poor with our own goods, hands and efforts.  The rich young man was not told by Christ to join Occupy Jerusalem and yell for the riches of the Temple to be sold to help the poor.  He was told, if he would be perfect, to give everything he had to the poor, and come follow Christ.  Next to this call for a radical flight from the material life into the arms of God, all the rantings of left wing parties about the poor are so much empty, sounding brass.

More to explorer


  1. Let us not forget the effort to turn the Church of Jesus the Christ into the Church “of the poor.” Of course this is ideology. John Paul II was asked this same thing. “Should the Church be the the Church of the poor?” He replied that the Church was the Church of all. He stressed that Christ came for all men. A non-ideologue he.

    But he was living the true Gospel. The one that has a rich man, Joseph of Arimathea, being faithful to the Christ. Joseph risks all immediately after Jesus’s death, going to Pilate and asking for the body – thus risking his own death. He then gives his own prepared tomb for a proper burial place. The working poor, the Apostles, had fled Jesus. The rich man stood by him.

    John Paul understood the end of the Church is a person – Jesus. Not a socio-economic group or set of policies.

  2. Social justice is a liberal worship-phrase, which they use as a flail on us and push the liberal agenda which is control and power not charity.

    Phillip is correct. The first commandment is to love God. The second is to love your neighbor. You love God and neighbor by your prayers and works. Love of neighbor is not taking from one neighbor and giving the money to an unelected elite that redistributes a paltry portion of the money to the poor.
    Think about it. In fact, Judas had a far different agenda than God’s. Is the agenda of today’s liberals/progressives Jesus? I don’t see it.
    Virtus non habent

  3. The Bear is 100% correct. When the rich man came to Jesus to ask what he had to do to inherit eternal life, Jesus told him to obey the Commandments. When the rich man responded that he had, Jesus told him that he lack one thing: he had to sell his belongings, given the proceeds to the poor and follow Jesus. Jesus did NOT tell him that because it was necessary that the poor be served, but because the rich man’s belongings were an idol standing in the way of his getting to heaven. His belongings were his god and he had to give up his god by converting it into something useful for others. Then he had to follow Jesus. The goal was Jesus, NOT the poor.
    Additionally, in this account not once did Jesus authorize Caesar to sieze the rich man’s belongings and distribute the proceeds thereof to the poor. Rather, the rich man’s giving had to be voluntary in order to be effectual. And for what was that giving to be effectual? For the poor? NO! Rather, for the salvation of the rich man’s soul from the fires of hell.
    A Peronist Marxist like Francis doesn’t think that way and can’t think that way. It is outside of his paradigm and to change his paradigm is to invalidate all that has been hs life to this point. He is the rich man.

  4. The elite power mongers are using what might be called an unassailable class called the ‘poor’ to induce guilt to advance agendas – such as the PP serving up contraception and abortion with sidelines of causing cancer to be expensively treated, pollution to indirectly attack industry , and the way to afford a Lamborghini and deal in unknown amounts of dollars from ghouls in the name of scientific development. The poor in the US are on two sides of the street – driven to accumulating benefits or quietly trying to survive with integrity intact. In any case, the ‘poor’ are being used more than being usefully helped.

  5. Peace and Justice!
    Annually redistributing half-a-billion dollars from American taxpayers to Dead-Baby-Parts-Retailer (Planned Parenthood) does not help the poor.

    N.B. by 1943, poverty was eliminated in Germany. The SS and gestapo redistributed the Jews’ money.
    Six years of Obama gangsterism: 18,000,000 Americans cannot find work and are eliminated form the civilian labor force (so unemployment rates look lower); 3,000,000 more American children live in poverty, now 22% of children; The median family disposable income is 8% lower than under President Bush; etc.

    The sclerotic hand of socialism (see Instapundit), as always, isn’t working.

    Peace and Justice!

  6. Francis, during an in flight press conference during
    his return from Latin America, admitted he has
    brought the commie crucifix with him which he
    compared to a painting, by a fellow commie Argentinian,
    of a crucifix on a bomber which, to Francis, represents
    Christianity allied with imperialism. Francis calls this
    Art, protest art or resistance. The Latin American
    Church is experiencing a serious crisis of faith.

    Rebellion seems to be the theme of Francis’ politicized

  7. From the Navarre Bible’s commentary on today’s second reading. Note St John Chrysostom preaches the fullness of the Gospel (as opposed to the ideological gospel of Francis) that we are all one in Christ regardless of condition – even the rich. He also notes any enmity destroys this bond. This enmity is cultivated by today’s social justice warriors.

    If only we had such truly humble shepherds at this time:

    “The peace which unites Christians is the peace which Christ brings, or rather it
    is Christ himself (cf. 2:14). By having the same faith and the same Spirit, ‘all find
    themselves’, says St John Chrysostom, ‘brought together in the Church — old
    and young, poor and rich, adult and child, husband and wife: people of either sex
    and of every condition become one and the same, more closely united than the
    parts of a single body, for the unity of souls is more intimate and more perfect
    than that of any natural substance. However, this unity is maintained only by ‘the
    bond of peace’. It could not exist in the midst of disorder and enmity…. This is a
    bond which does not restrict us, which unites us closely to one another and does
    not overwhelm us: it expands our heart and gives us greater joy than we could
    ever have if we were unattached. He who is strong is linked to the weaker one to
    carry him and prevent him from falling and collapsing. Does the weak person feel
    weak?: the stronger person tries to build up his strength. ‘A brother helped is like
    a strong city’, says the wise man (Prov 18: 19)” (”Hom. on Eph, 9, ad loc”.).'”

  8. “If only we had such truly humble shepherds at this time:”

    “The peace which unites Christians is the peace which Christ brings, or rather it is Christ himself (cf. 2:14). By having the same faith and the same Spirit, ‘all find themselves’, says St John Chrysostom, ‘brought together in the Church — old and young, poor and rich, adult and child, husband and wife: people of either sex and of every condition become one and the same, more closely united than the parts of a single body, for the unity of souls is more intimate and more perfect than that of any natural substance.”

    Today during mass, in the homily, the priest emphasized that God can take the small things we do or give & multiply them to meet huge needs beyond our wildest dreams. The passages of scripture referenced were those in which a huge miracle of multiplication of needed food took place in the time of Elishs & then also Jesus feeding a multitude with just a few loaves of bread & fish. The priest pointed out that Jesus did the exact same thing with the bread & fish (blessing it & breaking it) that He did when He instituted the Lord’s Supper/Eucharist. The priest referenced the purpose of the Eucharist in our lives as being a source of power/grace in which we are able to become slowly more & more like Jesus in all areas of our life. The priest also referenced the passage of scripture that says Jesus is the Bread of Life.

    I have run into so much grief & discouragement re: Pope Francis seeming moral failure to lead us closer to Christ vs his efforts to be politically correct/pushing extreme agendas that lie outside the mandates of the Gospel/his position of authority as pope/even his knowledge base & expertise–that I was really grieved about it & discouraged all day today.
    As is often the case, the Holy Spirit spoke to me in the stillness of worship during the mass & said the following things.

    1. Jesus, Himself, grew up & lived under the leadership of corrupt/oppositional/threatening spiritual leadership of His religious faith (e.g. the High Priest and religious powers of His day were self centered, power hungry, politically corrupt, controlling hypocrites & wanted Jesus dead. That bunch of devils fought against God & God’s purpose with every means at their disposal including murdering the Son of God.) Despite the corruption of leadership–God’s purposes prevailed and JesusHis family/His disciples were able to serve God! That means that even if our spiritual leadership is corrupt that we can still worship & serve God in spirit and truth–and God’s purposes will prevail. Jesus knows exactly what it is like to need strong, morally courageous spiritual leadership–and not have it. He knows exactly how we feel & is able to comfort us & strengthen us during this troubling time.

    2. All any priest or pope has to share with us is Jesus–the Bread of Life. Scripture guarantees us that God has provided everything we need to grow in Him & have salvation. We can let God the Father, His resurrected Son who overcame death, Hell, and the grave, and the Holy Spirit who is our counselor & comforter–teach us & feed us–if our own leadership will not.

    The following song was sung in our service today. It ministered to me deeply. I thought it might be encouraging to you.


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: