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Wealthy people must embrace 'logic of giving,' Pope tells Sunday audience

October 15, 2012

Commenting on the Gospel story of the rich young man, Pope Benedict XVI told his Sunday audience that “it is very difficult but not impossible for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”

"God can conquer the heart of a person with many possessions and lead him towards solidarity and sharing with the poor and needy, so that he can enter into the logic of giving,” the Pope told his October 14 audience. He added that this “logic of giving” is best illustrated by Jesus Himself, who—as St. Paul said, “became poor although He was rich, so that by his poverty you might become rich.”

The rich young man “had not found happiness,” although he had obeyed the commandments, the Pope continued. He wanted to attain salvation, but “he thought he could somehow ‘buy’ eternal life.” Jesus recognized the man’s conflict, and proposed the only solution: to give up the possessions that were blocking his spiritual growth and “could never give him happiness and eternal life.”

Although Jesus warns how difficult it is for the wealthy to attain salvation, the Pope pointed out that the history of the Church offers many examples of great saints who were wealthy. “Suffice to mention St. Francis, St. Elizabeth of Hungary and St. Charles Borromeo.” Their wealth was not an obstacle for them because they embraced the "logic of giving."


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