I started to consider how God provides us with all we need, and how we are called to help this—providing—for each other. We are the eyes, the hands and feet of Christ in this world empowered by the Holy Spirit to work in this field of souls. So, how is it that some have so much, and many have not enough? All are invited to come to the water “Without price and without cost” Scripture tells us.
Pope Francis often says, “This economy kills;” as the divide between the wealthy and the poor in the United States (and in the rest of the world) continues to grow. A handful of billionaires are literally “making a killing,” while millions who live below the poverty line are “making a dying,” and very few make a fair living. (Thanks for the quote, Rev Rohr!)
The Vatican recently called attention to the poverty of ethics and morality within the global economy. Their report states: “No profit is in fact legitimate when it falls short of the objective of the integral promotion of the human person, the universal destination of goods, and the preferential option for the poor.” The economy must “aim above all to promote the global quality of life that, before the indiscriminate expansion of profits, leads the way toward the integral well-being of the entire person and of every person.” Markets, the Vatican observes, “are not capable of governing themselves,” and so it is our duty as citizens of Earth and followers of Jesus to hold businesses, banks, and political leaders to higher standards and ideals.
How to do this? How may we participate in a (new) economy that is equitable for all people? Jim Wallis (Sojourners) writes, “While it is good to protest, having an alternative is better.” He says the best criticism of the bad is the practice of the better. There are companies practicing fair trade, reducing waste, using renewable resources, and investing in healthy communities and ecosystems. Maybe we start at home with what we can control. (Food for thought when we purchase food…)
Paul Hawken (American Environmentalist) suggests, “We can just as easily have an economy that is based on healing the future instead of stealing it. . . . One is called restoration and the other exploitation. . . . The world begs for dreamers to set up shop, invent in a new product or social technology, and create the kinds of breakthroughs that will bring us together to act responsibly as passengers on this magnificent place we call home.” As Christians we are called to be stewards of God’s Creation…
People talk about missing the previous “normal” as one casualty of this pandemic. Maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to return to what was normal before Covid 19—with all of our problems of injustice, inequality, and inhumane treatment of others that has come to the surface. We have the opportunity right now to take a breath—to consider a new normal that has a Spirit of love, compassion, kindness and mercy—a preference for the marginalized among us. Jesus invites us to stand in solidarity with the poor—all are welcome to come to the water without price.
We gather as a Community to praise and thank God and to receive His Word and His Body. As Isaiah reminds us, why spend your money or wages for what fails to satisfy you? On what fails to be just and merciful? Today we hear in the Gospel of Matthew the familiar story of the miracle of the loaves and fishes (the only miracle of Jesus recounted in all four of the Gospels). We hear how five thousand were fed⎯Christ in His Word, and in a meal, met their needs and their hunger. How can we do less?
There is always the opportunity to come to a deeper understanding of what our needs are, our real necessities—not our wants, desires or wishes—but our true priorities, our true needs. Both Plato and Thomas Aquinas said that an unexamined life is not worth living. So we must examine our choices, asking God for guidance and support. The Psalm today says: “The eyes of all look to you with hope, you give them food in due season. You open your hand and fulfill the need of every living thing.” The need of every living thing. This is the every-day miracle of faith, hope and love; this must be our choice for our future…
Keep singing in your hearts!
Just a Note:
"Ask the Complicated Questions"
Ask the complicated questions,
do not fear to be found out;
for our God makes strong our weakness,
forging faith in fires of doubt.
Seek the disconcerting answers,
follow where the Spirit blows;
test competing truths for wisdom,
for in tension new life grows.
Knock on doors of new ideas,
test assumptions long grown stale;
for Christ calls from shores of wonder,
daring us to try and fail.
For in struggle we discover
truth both simple and profound;
in the knocking, asking, seeking,
we are opened, answered, found.
Text: David Bjorlin, b.1984; © 2018, GIA Publications, Inc