Sell everything you have and give the money to the poor


Everyone is called to give. Some are called to give everything.


“So it is wrong then to sell everything you have and give it to the poor?”

No, there is plenty room for that in The Church. I’m just postulating what would likely happen if everyone did it. Each of us needs to find out what God’s plan is for us, it is not the same for everyone, and Scripture can only be part of the picture in determining that.

What the majority of Catholics are called to do is get married, procreate and be good Catholic parents. You can’t reject all your worldly goods and give kids everything they NEED nowadays, especially if you are sending them to Catholic schools. I think poverty in that situation is making sure your nuclear family has everything it NEEDS, but not everything it WANTS.


The chief wine steward at the wedding of Cana. I wanna meet that man!!


He won’t go to hell because he had followed all the laws. But that is not a guarantee that he will not later on because he still has attachment, his riches, that can influence or lead him astray.

Jesus is essentially asking him to detach himself from all wordly things and then makes Jesus the center of his life.


That is different though from selling everything and giving away all your money to the poor and then live homeless under a bridge somewhere , where it can get very cold at night. What do you do in freezing weather with no money and no place to sleep except under an old bridge? You can be prudent with your family responsibilities and give to charity within your means without selling everything and giving all your money to the poor? If the rich man sees himself as raising a family and meeting his responsibilities to his family, while donating to charity and obeying the commandments, why would it be wrong for him to refuse to sell everything he has and give all his money to the poor?


Exactly. God is not so unreasonable and He does not contradict His own Commandment. For example, as you said, responsibility for your family.

Therefore such statement (to sell everything and follow Jesus) must be seen together with other Gospel value. Let go all the things of the world that hold over you and put Jesus as the focus in your life; make Jesus as your Lord and your Savior, then other things that you have become servants to serve you toward the Lordship of Jesus.

Detachment from wordly thing does not mean not to have necessities or even luxuries for yourself. It only means not to be attached to them, not letting them hold sway over you. Your first priority is Jesus.

Like it is said, seek first God’s Kingdom and everything else will fall into place.

Put Jesus in the center of your life, blessing and providence may come to you as well as all good things come from God. But if God is the center of your life, you would know how to use your riches accordingly.


I remember living on the cheap many years ago when we barely made ends meet, and it wasn’t fun. It was very difficult. It did teach me something, though. I learned to be resourceful.

We lived in apartments that were less than desirable. We had food stamps a few times. St. Vincent DePaul brought us a bag of groceries once. We still gave each week to the church and I tried to do the best I could raising our daughter.

Now it’s payback time. I have my own house, small but nice. I can have pets!!!

I try to give regularly and know that I could end up that way again…and at my age, it probably would be a lot harder to deal with.

Even women who become consecrated virgins must support themselves. They would give everything up if they became a nun, but living on your own, it is important to have enough to survive on.


That is why I do not understand why the rich man was wrong if he refused to sell everything he had and give all the money to the poor?



…he wasn’t wrong for not wanting to give everything to the poor.

The story is about his vocation to Jesus. He was wrong because he did not want to give up everything and follow Jesus. You are focusing on the wrong part.


It is wrong (since you said it is wrong) because he did not follow Jesus. Following the Commandments is not enough, you have to follow Jesus.

Following Jesus, means to put him first in your life; everything else is second.

Does that mean he has to eat? Of course. Does it mean he has to pay bills? Of course. What does he use to do that? Well, money, and it does not fall from the sky. He has to work or to be able to upkeep himself. If he wants to do more in service of the Lord, he would probably need more money or can put it into good use.

In Catholicism, there were saints who left everything for the sake of Jesus. There are also rich people, who use their wealth well, for the sake of Jesus.

Jesus first, erevything else second.


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