Gospel Reflection – Sunday Sept. 19th (Lk 16:1-10)

“Here this, you who trample upon the needy”!  Amos’ opening words in the prophecy which begins this week’s Sunday readings is the best of that Old Time Religion .  Without mincing words the prophet takes to task all those who make a living at the expense of the poor.  After delivering an itemized list, Amos relays God’s promise -“Never will I forget a thing they have done!”

Yeah!  Take THAT you selfish, greedy ignorant financiers who damn near bankrupted the world.   Chew on those words along with your caviar you stupid arrogant, cold-hearted  executives of all the multinational corporations of the world who lust after profits and care nothing for the lives of the people you exploit along the way.  Let those words settle in the depths of your hearts all you who live in a country where, although you only contain five percent of the world’s population, you consume 25% of the world’s resources as if it was your God-given right.

Wait a minute…..that last group includes me.

Hey, who does Amos think he is anyway?  What, I don’t have the right to be comfortable?  I’m an American, dammit.  And I’m a man.  And I”m white.  Doesn’t God look like me, too?

No?

“You cannot serve both God and Mammon”, Jesus says in the gospel.   And I’ve really tried not to make material wealth the ultimate goal of my life.  I do work that I love, that I really believe I am called to do even though I could be making a lot more money doing things that would probably not make me throw up all of the time.

The problem is, Mammon is more than material wealth.  It’s more of an attitude of the heart – a love of anything that is not God more than a love of God.  What if discipleship leads me to a place of oppression rather that of the priviledges I currently enjoy due to an accident of birth?  How far would I walk down that road?

It felt so much better clubbing others with Amos’ words.  Now my head is starting to hurt.

Jim Philipps (3rd millennium pilgrim)

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