This past May, Pope Francis spoke about the worldwide economic crisis and observed, “While the income of a minority is increasing exponentially, that of the majority is crumbling.” Then Pope Francis quoted from the great church teacher, John Chrysostom, who taught in the early 400s. Pope Francis called on “financial experts and political leaders…to consider the words of St. John Chrysostom: ‘Not to share one’s goods with the poor is to rob them and deprive them of life. It is not our goods that we possess, but theirs.’”
Congressman Fincher speaks of Washington “stealing” from citizens in order to give to others in the country who need food stamps. I disagree with the Congressman’s seeing this as stealing. In the biblical understanding of stewardship, I maintain that Pope Francis has a much better perspective. If we do not share our blessings with the poor, we “rob” them. St. John Chrysostom agitates us and makes us reassess our values when he teaches: “It is not our goods that we possess, but theirs” (that is, those of the poor).