Liturgical: Elizabeth of Portugal

Elizabeth is remembered as a faithful, pious lady, serving as the queen of portugal. She is often cited for her roles as a peacekeeper and a servant of the needy. When her husband passed, she entered the Third Order of St. Francis and devoted the rest of her life to being a faithful religious.

Collect: (Roman)

Father of peace and love,
you gave Saint Elizabeth the gift of reconciling enemies.
By the help of her prayers
give us the courage to work for peace among men,
that we may be called the sons of God.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.


Also, for American readers,

A Prayer for Independence Day: Source  Here

Lord, we stand today as our forefathers have stood before You in times gone by,
Celebrating our history and revelling in all the great things that our country has achieved.
On this day we rejoice in the favor You have graciously given us.
We thank You for the blessings of liberty, for this generation and for the generations to come.
We thank You for our independence, peace and for all those who have bravely given their lives in the defence of freedom and justice.
We thank You that Your gracious and provident hand has given us so much.

Yet as a nation and people we have not always chosen the right way.
We ask You to forgive us for these times.
On this day we commit ourselves to wholeheartedly honoring and serving You.
With everything that we are, we lay our lives before You.
Make us a generous people,
A holy nation,
A people set aside to love You forever,
For the sake of the land of the brave and free,
And the peoples and nations of this world.

Today, we do not presume Your grace for our country.
Our land is in need of You,
Our people are in need of You,
Our industry and business is in need of You.
May we look only to You
This Independence Day, dependent on You.

Please come now by Your glorious Holy Spirit,
Breathe new life into the sinews of this nation.
May justice flow like rivers,
And righteousness like a never failing stream,
Until the whole of our country is covered with Your glory,
As the waters cover the sea.

We ask all this in the wonderful name of Jesus,
Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit.
One God, now and for all eternity.
Amen.

Liturgical: Saint Thomas, Apostle and Martyr

Thomas is often discredited and shamed due to his presence of doubt at the resurrection of Our Lord prior to his seeing him face-to-face. However, I take a different view towards Thomas – whom I share a name with – “let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” Thomas is a model Christian all the same, being a closer representation to the contemporary disciple than any who are said to have never struggled with doubt. Doubt is not something to  be shamed, it is a natural obstacle upon our pilgrimage of life – which while also being a stone to stumble over, is also necessary for true growth. From my perspective, for faith to truly be meaningful to the believer, it is something we must grapple with, both through education, prayer and even doubt at times. 

After the resurrection of Our Lord, Thomas lived a long life, serving as an evangelist and missionary, most often cited for his service in India as the cornerstone and founder of the tradition of Christians which would take his namesake as “St. Thomas Christians”.

A Collect: 

Almighty and eternal God,
who, for the firmer foundation of our faith,
allowed your holy apostle Thomas
to doubt the resurrection of your Son
till word and sight convinced him:
grant to us, who have not seen, that we also may believe
and so confess Christ as our Lord and our God;
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

 

Liturgical: First Martyrs of The Church of Rome

In the first instance of institutionalized persecution of The Church, Roman Emperor Nero ordered the torturing and execution of many early Christians. May their memory be eternal and may they continue to pray for us on Earth.

A Collect: 

Father, you sanctified the Church of Rome with the blood of its first martyrs. May we find strength from their courage and rejoice in their trumph. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Liturgical: Peter and Paul

A Collect:

Almighty God,
whose blessed apostles Peter and Paul
glorified you in their death as in their life:
grant that your Church,
inspired by their teaching and example,
and made one by your Spirit,
may ever stand firm upon the one foundation,
Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Amen.

 

Liturgical: Irenaeus

A Collect:

O God, who called the Bishop Saint Irenaeus to confirm true doctrine and the peace of the Church, grant, we pray, through his intercession, that, being renewed in faith and charity, we may always be intent on fostering unity and concord. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Liturgical: Cyril of Alexandria

Saint Cyril of Alexandria is remembered as a bishop and doctor of The Church. Often cited as his most memorable contribution to The Faith is his defense of Mary as “The Theotokos”, translated as “The Mother of God”. 

 

A Collect:
Father,
the bishop Cyril courageously taught
that Mary was the Mother of God.
May we who cherish this belief
receive salvation through the incarnation of Christ Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Cyril of Alexandria

Liturgical: The Nativity of St. John the Baptist

 

 

A collect:

Almighty God, by whose providence your servant John the Baptist was wonderfully born, and sent to prepare the way of your Son our Savior by preaching repentance: Make us so to follow his teaching and holy life, that we may truly repent according to his preaching; and, following his example, constantly speak the truth, boldly rebuke vice, and patiently suffer for the truth’s sake; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Icon of The Nativity of Saint John the Baptist

Reblog: The Bible On Caring For the Poor and Needy

This post was written by Rev. Kevin Daugherty on the website of his ministry Unfailing Love UCCA and can be found here.
__________________________________________________________________________________________

This is a (not so) brief introduction to what the Scriptures say about the poor and needy. Caring for those in need is an essential part of the Christian message. Notice, too, that it is not commanded as mere individual charity. Rather, all God’s people and society at large are expected to care for the most vulnerable.

The Old Testament / Hebrew Scriptures

I have also heard the groaning of the Israelites whom the Egyptians are holding as slaves, and I have remembered my covenant. Say therefore to the Israelites, ‘I am the Lord, and I will free you from the burdens of the Egyptians and deliver you from slavery to them. I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my people, and I will be your God. You shall know that I am the Lord your God, who has freed you from the burdens of the Egyptians. (Exodus 6:5-7)

You shall not wrong or oppress a resident alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt. (Exodus 22:21)

You shall not abuse any widow or orphan. (Exodus 22:22)

You shall not pervert the justice due to your poor in their lawsuits. (Exodus 23:6)

You shall not oppress a resident alien; you know the heart of an alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt. (Exodus 23:9)

but the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, so that the poor of your people may eat; and what they leave the wild animals may eat. You shall do the same with your vineyard, and with your olive orchard. (Exodus 23:11)

You shall not strip your vineyard bare, or gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the alien: I am the Lord your God. (Leviticus 19:10)

You shall not render an unjust judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great: with justice you shall judge your neighbor. (Leviticus 19:15)

The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. (Leviticus 19:34)

When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very edges of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest; you shall leave them for the poor and for the alien: I am the Lord your God. (Leviticus 23:22)

If anyone of your kin falls into difficulty and sells a piece of property, then the next of kin shall come and redeem what the relative has sold. (Leviticus 25:25)

If any of your kin fall into difficulty and become dependent on you, you shall support them; they shall live with you as though resident aliens. Do not take interest in advance or otherwise make a profit from them, but fear your God; let them live with you. You shall not lend them your money at interest taken in advance, or provide them food at a profit. (Leviticus 25:35-37)

If any who are dependent on you become so impoverished that they sell themselves to you, you shall not make them serve as slaves. (Leviticus 25:39)

If resident aliens among you prosper, and if any of your kin fall into difficulty with one of them and sell themselves to an alien, or to a branch of the alien’s family, after they have sold themselves they shall have the right of redemption; one of their brothers may redeem them, (Leviticus 25:47-48)

For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who is not partial and takes no bribe, who executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and who loves the strangers, providing them food and clothing. You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.(Deuteronomy 10:17-19)

Every third year you shall bring out the full tithe of your produce for that year, and store it within your towns; the Levites, because they have no allotment or inheritance with you, as well as the resident aliens, the orphans, and the widows in your towns, may come and eat their fill so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work that you undertake. (Deuteronomy 14:28-29)

There will, however, be no one in need among you, because the Lord is sure to bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you as a possession to occupy, (Deuteronomy 15:4)

If there is among you anyone in need, a member of your community in any of your towns within the land that the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hard-hearted or tight-fisted toward your needy neighbor. (Deuteronomy 15:7)

Be careful that you do not entertain a mean thought, thinking, “The seventh year, the year of remission, is near,” and therefore view your needy neighbor with hostility and give nothing; your neighbor might cry to the Lord against you, and you would incur guilt. (Deuteronomy 15:9)

Since there will never cease to be some in need on the earth, I therefore command you, “Open your hand to the poor and needy neighbor in your land.” (Deuteronomy 15:11)

You shall not withhold the wages of poor and needy laborers, whether other Israelites or aliens who reside in your land in one of your towns. You shall pay them their wages daily before sunset, because they are poor and their livelihood depends on them; otherwise they might cry to the Lord against you, and you would incur guilt. (Deuteronomy 24:14-15)

You shall not deprive a resident alien or an orphan of justice; you shall not take a widow’s garment in pledge. (Deuteronomy 24:17)

When you reap your harvest in your field and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be left for the alien, the orphan, and the widow, so that the Lord your God may bless you in all your undertakings. When you beat your olive trees, do not strip what is left; it shall be for the alien, the orphan, and the widow. When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, do not glean what is left; it shall be for the alien, the orphan, and the widow. (Deuteronomy 24:19-21)

“Cursed be anyone who deprives the alien, the orphan, and the widow of justice.” All the people shall say, “Amen!” (Deuteronomy 27:19)

He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor. For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, and on them he has set the world. (1 Samuel 2:8)

as the days on which the Jews gained relief from their enemies, and as the month that had been turned for them from sorrow into gladness and from mourning into a holiday; that they should make them days of feasting and gladness, days for sending gifts of food to one another and presents to the poor. (Esther 9:22)

The murderer rises at dusk to kill the poor and needy, and in the night is like a thief. (Job 24:14)

because I delivered the poor who cried, and the orphan who had no helper. (Job 29:12)

Did I not weep for those whose day was hard? Was not my soul grieved for the poor? (Job 30:25)

“If I have withheld anything that the poor desired, or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail, (Job 31:16)

The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. (Psalm 9:9)

For the needy shall not always be forgotten, nor the hope of the poor perish forever. (Psalm 9:18)

“Because the poor are despoiled, because the needy groan, I will now rise up,” says the Lord; “I will place them in the safety for which they long.” (Psalm 12:5)

You would confound the plans of the poor, but the Lord is their refuge. (Psalm 14:6)

This poor soul cried, and was heard by the Lord, and was saved from every trouble. (Psalm 34:6)

All my bones shall say, “O Lord, who is like you? You deliver the weak from those too strong for them, the weak and needy from those who despoil them.” (Psalm 35:10)

The wicked draw the sword and bend their bows to bring down the poor and needy, to kill those who walk uprightly; (Psalm 37:14)

As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me. You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God. (Psalm 40:17)

Father of orphans and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation. (Psalm 68:5)

your flock found a dwelling in it; in your goodness, O God, you provided for the needy. (Psalm 68:10)

Let the oppressed see it and be glad; you who seek God, let your hearts revive. For the Lord hears the needy, and does not despise his own that are in bonds. (Psalm 69:32-33)

But I am poor and needy; hasten to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer; O Lord, do not delay! (Psalm 70:5)

May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the needy, and crush the oppressor. (Psalm 72:4)

For he delivers the needy when they call, the poor and those who have no helper. He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy. (Psalm 72:12-13)

Do not let the downtrodden be put to shame; let the poor and needy praise your name. (Psalm 74:21)

Give justice to the weak and the orphan; maintain the right of the lowly and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” (Psalm 82:3-4)

but he raises up the needy out of distress, and makes their families like flocks. (Psalm 107:41)

For he stands at the right hand of the needy, to save them from those who would condemn them to death. (Psalm 109:31)

They have distributed freely, they have given to the poor; their righteousness endures forever; their horn is exalted in honor. (Psalm 112:9)

He raises the poor from the dust, and lifts the needy from the ash heap, (Psalm 113:7)

I will abundantly bless its provisions; I will satisfy its poor with bread. (Psalm 132:15)

I know that the Lord maintains the cause of the needy, and executes justice for the poor. (Psalm 140:12)

who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free; (Psalm 146:7)

The Lord watches over the strangers; he upholds the orphan and the widow, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin. (Psalm 146:9)

The wealth of the rich is their fortress; the poverty of the poor is their ruin. (Proverbs 10:15)

The field of the poor may yield much food, but it is swept away through injustice. (Proverbs 13:23)

Those who despise their neighbors are sinners, but happy are those who are kind to the poor. (Proverbs 14:21)

Those who oppress the poor insult their Maker, but those who are kind to the needy honor him. (Proverbs 14:31)

The Lord tears down the house of the proud, but maintains the widow’s boundaries. (Proverbs 15:25)

It is better to be of a lowly spirit among the poor than to divide the spoil with the proud. (Proverbs 16:19)

Those who mock the poor insult their Maker; those who are glad at calamity will not go unpunished. (Proverbs 17:5)

Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and will be repaid in full. (Proverbs 19:17)

If you close your ear to the cry of the poor, you will cry out and not be heard. (Proverbs 21:13)

Those who are generous are blessed, for they share their bread with the poor. (Proverbs 22:9)

Oppressing the poor in order to enrich oneself, and giving to the rich, will lead only to loss. (Proverbs 22:16)

Do not rob the poor because they are poor, or crush the afflicted at the gate; (Proverbs 22:22)

A ruler who oppresses the poor is a beating rain that leaves no food. (Proverbs 28:3)

Whoever gives to the poor will lack nothing, but one who turns a blind eye will get many a curse. (Proverbs 28:27)

The righteous know the rights of the poor; the wicked have no such understanding. (Proverbs 29:7)

there are those whose teeth are swords, whose teeth are knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, the needy from among mortals. (Proverbs 30:14)

Speak out, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy. (Proverbs 31:9)

She opens her hand to the poor, and reaches out her hands to the needy. (Proverbs 31:20)

If you see in a province the oppression of the poor and the violation of justice and right, do not be amazed at the matter; for the high official is watched by a higher, and there are yet higher ones over them. (Ecclesiastes 5:8)

learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow. (Isaiah 1:17)

The Lord enters into judgement with the elders and princes of his people: It is you who have devoured the vineyard; the spoil of the poor is in your houses. What do you mean by crushing my people, by grinding the face of the poor? says the Lord God of hosts. (Isaiah 3:14-15)

to turn aside the needy from justice and to rob the poor of my people of their right, that widows may be your spoil, and that you may make the orphans your prey! (Isaiah 10:2)

but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. (Isaiah 11:4)

The firstborn of the poor will graze, and the needy lie down in safety; but I will make your root die of famine, and your remnant I will kill. (Isaiah 14:30)

For you have been a refuge to the poor, a refuge to the needy in their distress, a shelter from the rainstorm and a shade from the heat. When the blast of the ruthless was like a winter rainstorm, (Isaiah 25:4)

The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the Lord, and the neediest people shall exult in the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 29:19)

The villainies of villains are evil; they devise wicked devices to ruin the poor with lying words, even when the plea of the needy is right. (Isaiah 32:7)

When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst, I the Lord will answer them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. (Isaiah 41:17)

Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin? (Isaiah 58:6-7)

if you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted,
then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday. (Isaiah 58:10)

The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; (Isaiah 61:1)

Also on your skirts is found the lifeblood of the innocent poor, though you did not catch them breaking in. Yet in spite of all these things (Jeremiah 2:34)

they have grown fat and sleek. They know no limits in deeds of wickedness; they do not judge with justice the cause of the orphan, to make it prosper, and they do not defend the rights of the needy. (Jeremiah 5:28)

if you do not oppress the alien, the orphan, and the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own hurt, (Jeremiah 7:6)

Sing to the Lord; praise the Lord! For he has delivered the life of the needy from the hands of evildoers. (Jeremiah 20:13)

Thus says the Lord: Act with justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor anyone who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the alien, the orphan, and the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place. (Jeremiah 22:3)

He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well. Is not this to know me? says the Lord. (Jeremiah 22:16)

This was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. (Ezekiel 16:49)

does not oppress anyone, but restores to the debtor his pledge, commits no robbery, gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with a garment, (Ezekiel 18:7)

The people of the land have practiced extortion and committed robbery; they have oppressed the poor and needy, and have extorted from the alien without redress. (Ezekiel 22:29)

Thus says the Lord: For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment; because they sell the righteous for silver, and the needy for a pair of sandals—they who trample the head of the poor into the dust of the earth, and push the afflicted out of the way; father and son go in to the same girl, so that my holy name is profaned; (Amos 2:6-7)

Hear this word, you cows of Bashan who are on Mount Samaria, who oppress the poor, who crush the needy, who say to their husbands, ‘Bring something to drink!’ (Amos 4:1)

Hear this, you that trample on the needy, and bring to ruin the poor of the land, (Amos 8:4)

buying the poor for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals, and selling the sweepings of the wheat.’ (Amos 8:6)

do not oppress the widow, the orphan, the alien, or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another. (Zechariah 7:10)

Then I will draw near to you for judgement; I will be swift to bear witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired workers in their wages, the widow, and the orphan, against those who thrust aside the alien, and do not fear me, says the Lord of hosts. (Malachi 3:5)

The Apocrypha / Deuterocanonical Books

‘For your strength does not depend on numbers, nor your might on the powerful. But you are the God of the lowly, helper of the oppressed, upholder of the weak, protector of the forsaken, savior of those without hope. (Judith 9:11)

For they reasoned unsoundly, saying to themselves… Let us oppress the righteous poor man; let us not spare the widow or regard the gray hairs of the aged. But let our might be our law of right, for what is weak proves itself to be useless. (Wisdom 2:1a, 10-11)

My child, do not cheat the poor of their living, and do not keep needy eyes waiting. Do not grieve the hungry, or anger one in need. Do not add to the troubles of the desperate, or delay giving to the needy. Do not reject a suppliant in distress, or turn your face away from the poor. Do not avert your eye from the needy, and give no one reason to curse you; for if in bitterness of soul some should curse you, their Creator will hear their prayer. (Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 4:1-6)

Do not grow weary when you pray; do not neglect to give alms. (Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 7:10)

Stretch out your hand to the poor, so that your blessing may be complete. Give graciously to all the living; do not withhold kindness even from the dead. Do not avoid those who weep, but mourn with those who mourn. Do not hesitate to visit the sick, because for such deeds you will be loved. (Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 7:32-35)

Sovereignty passes from nation to nation on account of injustice and insolence and wealth. (Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 10:8)

The rich, and the eminent, and the poor—their glory is the fear of the Lord.  It is not right to despise one who is intelligent but poor, and it is not proper to honor one who is sinful. (Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 10:22-23)

A rich person does wrong, and even adds insults; a poor person suffers wrong, and must add apologies. A rich person will exploit you if you can be of use to him, but if you are in need he will abandon you. If you own something, he will live with you; he will drain your resources without a qualm.  When he needs you he will deceive you, and will smile at you and encourage you; he will speak to you kindly and say, ‘What do you need?’ (Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 13:3-6)

Panic and insolence will waste away riches; thus the house of the proud will be laid waste. The prayer of the poor goes from their lips to the ears of God, and his judgement comes speedily. (Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 21:4-5)

Like one who kills a son before his father’s eyes is the person who offers a sacrifice from the property of the poor. The bread of the needy is the life of the poor; whoever deprives them of it is a murderer. To take away a neighbor’s living is to commit murder; to deprive an employee of wages is to shed blood. (Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 34:24-27)

Do not offer him a bribe, for he will not accept it; and do not rely on a dishonest sacrifice; for the Lord is the judge, and with him there is no partiality. He will not show partiality to the poor; but he will listen to the prayer of one who is wronged. He will not ignore the supplication of the orphan, or the widow when she pours out her complaint.  Do not the tears of the widow run down her cheek as she cries out against the one who causes them to fall? One whose service is pleasing to the Lord will be accepted, and his prayer will reach to the clouds. The prayer of the humble pierces the clouds, and it will not rest until it reaches its goal; it will not desist until the Most High responds and does justice to the righteous, and executes judgement. Indeed, the Lord will not delay, and like a warrior will not be patient until he crushes the loins of the unmerciful and repays vengeance on the nations; until he destroys the multitude of the insolent, and breaks the scepters of the unrighteous; until he repays mortals according to their deeds, and the works of all according to their thoughts; until he judges the case of his people and makes them rejoice in his mercy. His mercy is as welcome in time of distress as clouds of rain in time of drought. (Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 35:14-26)

All bribery and injustice will be blotted out, but good faith will last for ever.
The wealth of the unjust will dry up like a river, and crash like a loud clap of thunder in a storm. As a generous person has cause to rejoice, so lawbreakers will utterly fail. The children of the ungodly put out few branches; they are unhealthy roots on sheer rock. The reeds by any water or river bank are plucked up before any grass; but kindness is like a garden of blessings, and almsgiving endures for ever. (Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 40:12-17)

Guard the rights of the widow, secure justice for the ward, give to the needy, defend the orphan, clothe the naked, care for the injured and the weak, do not ridicule the lame, protect the maimed, and let the blind have a vision of my splendor. Protect the old and the young within your walls. (2 Esdras 2:20-22)

Thus, as soon as one adopts a way of life in accordance with the law, even though a lover of money, one is forced to act contrary to natural ways and to lend without interest to the needy and to cancel the debt when the seventh year arrives. (4 Maccabees 2:8)

The New Testament / Christian Scriptures

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:3-12)

The blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. (Matthew 11:5)

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 16:24-25)

Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” (Matthew 19:21)

for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.(Matthew 25:35-36)

They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.” (Mark 12:40)

And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.” (Luke 1:46-55)

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, (Luke 4:18)

Then he looked up at his disciples and said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. (Luke 6:20-22)

And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have good news brought to them. (Luke 7:22)

Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. (Luke 12:33)

But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. (Luke 14:13)

When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “There is still one thing lacking. Sell all that you own and distribute the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” (Luke 18:22)

“Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets. They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.” (Luke 20:46-47)

All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. (Acts 2:44-45)

Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. They laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. (Acts 4:32-35)

Now in Joppa there was a disciple whose name was Tabitha, which in Greek is Dorcas. She was devoted to good works and acts of charity. (Acts 9:36)

He stared at him in terror and said, “What is it, Lord?” He answered, “Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God. (Acts 10:4)

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” No, “if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:9-21)

for Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to share their resources with the poor among the saints at Jerusalem. (Romans 15:26)

For you know the generous act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich. And in this matter I am giving my advice: it is appropriate for you who began last year not only to do something but even to desire to do something— now finish doing it, so that your eagerness may be matched by completing it according to your means.For if the eagerness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has—not according to what one does not have. I do not mean that there should be relief for others and pressure on you, but it is a question of a fair balance between your present abundance and their need, so that their abundance may be for your need, in order that there may be a fair balance. As it is written, “The one who had much did not have too much, and the one who had little did not have too little.” (2 Corinthians 8:9-15)

They asked only one thing, that we remember the poor, which was actually what I was eager to do. (Galatians 2:10)

Thieves must give up stealing; rather let them labor and work honestly with their own hands, so as to have something to share with the needy. (Ephesians 4:28)

Honor widows who are really widows. (1 Timothy 5:3)

Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them; those who are being tortured, as though you yourselves were being tortured. Let marriage be held in honor by all, and let the marriage bed be kept undefiled; for God will judge fornicators and adulterers. Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have; for he has said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:1-5)

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. (James 1:27)

For if a person with gold rings and in fine clothes comes into your assembly, and if a poor person in dirty clothes also comes in, and if you take notice of the one wearing the fine clothes and say, “Have a seat here, please,” while to the one who is poor you say, “Stand there,” or, “Sit at my feet,” have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters. Has not God chosen the poor in the world to be rich in faith and to be heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him?But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who oppress you? Is it not they who drag you into court? (James 2:2-6)

Come now, you rich people, weep and wail for the miseries that are coming to you. Your riches have rotted, and your clothes are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have rusted, and their rust will be evidence against you, and it will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure for the last days. Listen! The wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the righteous one, who does not resist you. (James 5:1-6)

Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven. (James 5:14-15)

Be hospitable to one another without complaining. (1 Peter 4:9)

How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help? Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. (1 John 3:17-18)

All Scriptures are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible (NRSV).