View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Perhaps someone should tell Donald Trump

Come now, you rich, weep and wail over your impending miseries.

Your wealth has rotted away, your clothes have become moth-eaten,
your gold and silver have corroded, and that corrosion will be a testimony against you; it will devour your flesh like a fire. You have stored up treasure for the last days.

Behold, the wages you withheld from the workers who harvested your fields are crying aloud, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.

You have lived on earth in luxury and pleasure; you have fattened your hearts for the day of slaughter.

You have condemned; you have murdered the righteous one; he offers you no resistance.

(James 5: 1-6 – NAB)

I heard this passage on the radio the other day. I thought of some of the wealthy in our society.

Then another thought hit me.

I was on my way to clean out still more of my mom’s clothes.

So far, we have donated more than 300 items of her clothing. The latest haul included 61 tops, 11 pants, 10 skirts, 9 matched outfits, and 6 dresses.

Some of the items still had price tags on them.

There’s still more clothes to go. And there's also all the pots, pans, cookbooks, jewelry, etc.

My mother shopped compulsively, trying to make up for things she lacked in her life.

She was an unhappy woman.

I wonder how many of the rich are similarly unhappy – and are trying to fill some gap in their own lives with possessions?

I wonder what James would say about these lost souls?

Will all the rich wail after death?

Or are some of them already wailing?

Maybe he'd soften his mesaage.

Or maybe he’d say that no matter how screwed up their lives were, they had their chances and their warnings. They had the Bible and other writings. They had preachers – like James - admonishing them.

Jesus certainly was firm about this. In the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, he has Abraham spurn the rich man’s attempts to go back and warn his brothers.

“They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them.” (Luke 16:29).

Maybe I don’t need all those books I want and that new guitar I covet.


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