Christians in developed countries feel and believe that they should have reverence for the marginalized and seek not just to improve the condition of these people in life but also to bring about equality and live up to their responsibility of caring for all. We can learn about this from the Old Testament and Jesus’ teachings. In Mt 22. 34-40, we learn that the greatest commandment is to, “love your neighbour as you love yourself. ” Christians try to develop qualities of Christian love, known as agape. They do this by showing compassion towards others, respect and tolerance.
They can also do this by reading the bible and following the acts of others, such as Jesus. By doing this Christians hope to become more like Christ. Once confirmed, Catholics have confirmed their commitment and responsibilities to Christ, by doing this they are now official followers of Christ and they believe they should follow in his ways and apply them to daily life and by confirming themselves to Christ, Catholics mean to serve him and others. “If one of you wants to be great, he must be servant of the rest, and if one of you wants to be first, he must be slave of all. ”
Request of James And John. This passage explains that true greatness is about saving others. This is major Christian responsibility. Christians can do this by putting themselves last and putting the needs of others before their own. Thus, they strive towards equality for all. In The Good Samaritan, Christians are taught to treat others equally. In it, a question is asked by a teacher of the law, “And who is my neighbour? ” Jesus uses a Samaritan to teach that thy neighbour is anyone in need. A priest and a Levite ignore a man in need but in the end help comes from the enemy.
This is an example where we can learn; our neighbour is anyone is need, even our enemy. Christians have a responsibility towards all and we know that we are meant to learn from Jesus’ actions because he tells the teacher of the law, “Go and do likewise”. This is saying to Christians that they should treat everyone equally because we are all a part of God and we are made in his image, they should see each all humans precious in God’s eyes. We can see this in Psalm 139; God has a plan for every one of us.
When I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of earth. Thy eyes beheld my unformed substance, in thy book were written, every one of them” Part of the Christian faith is to see all people as part of God’s creations, And God said “Let us make man, in our image, after our likeness… ” Genesis 1. 27 Christians must put it upon themselves to care for the sick, outcasts, women and our enemies, this is their responsibility, to care for and look out for thy neighbour. We can see this being put into action with nurses.
They use their gifts and skills to care for their neighbour, in this case it is their patience. Jesus cared for all these people and as Christ followers Christians should follow in his way. For example in Jesus Calls Levi, Jesus says to his disciples, “People who are well do not need a doctor, but only those who are sick. I have not come to call respectable people, but outcasts. ” Jesus is saying that he has not come to help the respectable but the outcasts, because they are who need help. Christians believe they have a responsibility to do the same, to care for the outcasts.
We are all apostles and have a mission in life, because of this Christians believe it is their responsibility to care for other people and apply their lives to serving others. Christians feel it is their duty to build up the world for there must be sustained equality for all, including the old, the abandoned, the refugee and the foreign labourer. The Final Judgment tells us and explains that if we do not use the responsibilities of the Christian faith to help those in need, we shall be punished. In this passage God tells the righteous people that whenever hey fed, clothed, welcomed, took care of or visited the needy they did this for him.
“I tell you whenever you did this for one of the least important of the members of my family, you did this for me! ” We can also apply this to modern day, for example, helping the people in the developing world and the problems it is facing, such as hunger, poverty and diseases. Christian love is not just seen in the bible, but in everyday life. This can be seen by such people as monks, nuns and aid workers. Christians can take and outline their responsibilities from the papal encyclicals.
The decree on the apostolate of the laity tells Catholics that they should work together in order to reach their goals and help one another. “When people work together we are strong”. This teaches Christians that together they should make good use of what God has created, offering their services in their parishes and being charitable. Realising their responsibility, Christians must face them by pulling together to apply their beliefs and conquer the many problems facing the developing world today. Two of which are hunger and disease. 35000 die of hunger each day in the developing world.
This is because of famine – lack of food and lack of unusable water, drought and or flooding. The reason why it has come to this is because these people are simply not educated enough to provide for themselves or even have the knowledge of how to store food properly. Farming land must be rotated for a few years after being worked and because this is not done due to poor education, crops will become poorer and poorer and uneatable, leaving the people starving and in debt and in the cycle of poverty. Poverty and lack of unadequate food and water result in poor health.
Because people are malnourished, their immune systems are low and therefore it becomes easier for them to catch common illnesses like diarrhoea, conjunctivitis and malaria. These people have no access to medical care or very little as there is a shortage of trained doctors. If a person is lucky enough to find a doctor, they will be waiting behind the other 6,400 people waiting to see just that one doctor. This means that the life expectancy in places such as Afghanistan is as little as 43 years and the infant death mortality rate is 270 out of 1000.
If Christians help the suffering now, then they will be rewarded in Heaven, for however you act now, that is what will be judged in the after life. In the parable of The Rich Man And Lazarus, the rich man fails to help the beggar, so he was punished after death for ignoring the beggar’s needs. “Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony”. This is why Christians should not rely just on material possessions. “Watch out!
Be on your guard against all kinds of greed: a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions”. Sometimes, money can be an obstacle but Christians should learn that they are not judge by God on their wealth but on the treasures they have built up in heaven. The parable of The Rich Fool, tells us about the danger of wealth. The farmer puts all his efforts into getting rich and when he thinks he can enjoy life’s pleasures, he dies leaving nothing in the life to come. The golden rule for Christians to follow is sharing.
We are taught this through the story of Barnibas And The Early Church. This is a example to be more like the early Christians by sharing our wealth, because then there would be no more hunger or disease for the entire world will have enough. “No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had”. This teaching can be applied to life today, if we give a little of our wealth to the third world we are giving them a chance to make it on their own and not just letting people see them as charity.
Christians can follow the example of Disciples and Jesus who placed themselves last to save others. If Christians today, can follow in their footsteps and help the people in places such as Africa and Zimbabwe, they will be helping people build their life’s whilst building their own treasures in heaven. Jesus came to redeem people of their sins, to bring the good news and to help the poor. He taught his followers that the only way to help the poor was through actions, as he says, “Show me how anyone can have faith without actions.
I will show you my faith through my actions”. Many Christians who do act, are part of organisations such as CAFOD, and are giving direct help to the poor in the developing countries. CAFOD gives help, by giving the people in 75 different countries skills for life. This is done through long term aid, often people from the third world will come to CAFOD for help with financing an idea. The aim for this is to encourage these people to become more independent. “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.
Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”. We can also help by short-term aid such as sending food for African famine relief or sending antibiotics or shelters to flood victims in Bangladesh. Fund raising is also used i. e. family fast days for Lent. If in need of inspiration to help the needs of others, we can look to people in the eye of the public who help the developing world. A South African political activist named Nelson Mandela fought hard against a white apartheid government for the right to vote fairly.
This was just one man setting out to help, if we all did likewise imagine the difference we could make on the world. For example, Christians do not have to look to Jesus on how to help, as a lot smaller but still as important suggestions are right in front of us. Writing to MP’s on exploitation or arranging non-violent protest could be a starting path for helping the developing world. By doing all this Christians are working their way to eternal life and the kingdom of God, the greatest reward of all.