Fisking St James


The Readings for the 26th Sunday of Ordinary Time (B2)

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

Remember that we – in the USA – are the rich. Doesn’t matter how much you earn, doesn’t matter how much you make or how many kids you have. Married? Single? On Welfare? If you’re reading this over the internet you have more money than huge swathes of the world. 

Your wealth has rotted away, your clothes have become moth-eaten, your gold and silver have corroded,

Yet, you know it’s worthless. You know it has no power to buy happiness, no power to buy love. You know it can facsimilate both. And you’re probably ok, at least sometimes, with the imitations. They are not so expensive as to be prohibitive.

and that corrosion will be a testimony against you;
it will devour your flesh like a fire.

You may know – and not care – or you may not know: they are killing your soul. Each indulgence in those facsimiles preps you for hell. We have only two choices in this world: practice for living in heaven or practice for living in hell.

You have stored up treasure for the last days.

Which will it be? Heavenly treasure or hellish? You may enjoy either – but it will be in the same place, for you will be in the eternal presence of God.  God is a consuming fire: will it mean that you are holy fire yourself or will you be consumed?

Behold, the wages you withheld from the workers

In Apple’s factories, in the restraunts where you did not tip, in the clothing factoris that filled up WalMart and JC Penny’s, in the factories you closed, the Casinos you shut down, the neighborhoods you gentrified shoving out the poor… 

who harvested your fields are crying aloud;
and the cries of the harvesters
have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.

In your fields now your food lies rotting because you refused to pays the laborers their due, and now have shut the gates against even the poor whose money you stole. You are surrounded now by the very rot of your wealth.

You have lived on earth in luxury and pleasure;

Yet you did not pay full price. The dirt and pollution of your glut you left for others to clean, your landfills hide your superfluity of filth, your streets are filled with your squalor.

you have fattened your hearts for the day of slaughter.

And when the revolution comes you wil be too fat to run.

You have condemned;
you have murdered the righteous one;

he offers you no resistance.

For he dies in the womb so that you can have a “rich and full life”. 

Author: Huw Raphael

A Dominican Tertiary living in San Francisco, CA. He is almost 59. He feeds the homeless as a parochial almoner and is studying to be a Roman Catholic Deacon. He is learning modern Israeli Hebrew and enjoys cooking, keto, cats, long urban hikes, and SF Beer Week.

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