When encountering a person living on the streets, a distressing question is imposed on the well-intentioned passerby: “Should I do something?” The question is especially disquieting for the Catholic who is reminded of the Savior’s exhortations, who tells his disciples that anything they do for the “least of these” is done for him. And what examples does he offer for what to do? Feed the hungry, satiate the thirsty, clothe the naked, and visit the sick and imprisoned (Mt 25:34–45). We are told to give to those who beg and never to refuse a request to borrow. If someone presses us for something, we are expected to respond with more than what they stipulate (Mt 5:40–42). In summary, the answer to the question seems straightforward: we have to give something.
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