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Lectionary

This feckless elite

Be very scared if people speak well of you, and by that I mean the people in power. For your soul is in dire peril. Instead count every insult and complaint as a sign that you are being righteous in this time.

I have heard many people preach on the beatitudes. Not many people preach the woes. But the follow: they are the obverse of the coin.

Luke 6:12-26

12 In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. 13 And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles: 14 Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, 15 and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot, 16 and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

17 And he came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, 18 who came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. And those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. 19 And all the crowd sought to touch him, for power came out from him and healed them all.

20 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said:

“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.

21 “Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied.

“Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.

22 “Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! 23 Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.

24 “But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.

25 “Woe to you who are full now, for you shall be hungry.

“Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.

26 “Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.

Yesterday, we put fuel in our car: the cost has gone up about seventy cents for the high octane petrol it needs. It is now not 1.95 a liter but 2.65 — or over 140 dollars a tank. This is meaning that the cost of everything is higher: my beloved tells me that the grocery money does not go as far. We expect that many people will have to curtail holiday plans: the rich can afford a new hybrid or electric vehicle, but the poor drive 20 year old cars, as do we.

We have some security and antifragility. Many do not. The current government has ruined lives, by banning oil exploration (a nine billion net loss to the economy). I see bankers trying to shut down social media by refusing payments [1].

THe rich can afford to signal virtue, the poor cannot.

And even those of us who are frugal and have built some security are not that rich and powerful. It is far better to shelter those who are fragile and build communities. The times have been good, but that does not last forever.

And times of poverty, like times of mourning, will come. Do not put your security in such. Put it in Christ, who understands true love, true charity and true justice.

And do not be like this feckless elite.


1 By the way, VD is correct. Torba is being a fool on these issues, though he has a new payment processor today.

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