NOT JUST AN ECONOMIC CRISIS
«You cannot be the slave both of God and of money». These words of Jesus can’t be forgotten in these times when we find ourselves following Jesus , since they contain the most serious warning that Jesus left humanity. Money, when converted into an absolute idol, is the great enemy of building that more just and fraternal world that God wants.
Unfortunately, wealth has become an idol of immense power in our globalized world – a power that in order to keep going demands more and more victims every day and dehumanizes and impoverishes human history more each day. Right now we find ourselves trapped in a crisis that is brought about for the most part by an obsession with accumulating things.
In effect, everything is organized, moved, and energized from this rubric: go for more productivity, more consumption, more well-being, more energy, more power over others… This rubric is imperialistic. If we don’t stop it, it can put at risk all human beings and the planet itself.
Maybe the first step is to be conscious of what is happening. This isn’t just an economic crisis. It’s a social and human crisis. At this point we already have enough data gathered from near and far to see the extent of the human drama we are immersed in.
Every day it is more evident that a system that leads a minority of the rich to accumulate more and more power, abandoning millions of human beings to hunger and misery, is an unacceptable stupidity. It’s needless to look any place else.
Now even the most progressive societies aren’t capable of providing a dignified job for millions of their citizens. What kind of progress is it that pushes us toward well-being, while leaving so many families without resources to live in dignity?
This crisis is destroying the democratic process. Pushed by the demands of Money, governments can’t serve the true needs of their people. What is politics if it no longer serves the common good?
The reduction of social spending across the board and the self-interested and contemptible privatization of public services like sanitation, will keep knocking down the most vulnerable, generating more and more marginalization, shameless inequality and social rupture.
As Jesus’ followers we can’t live locked in a religion that is isolated from this human drama. Right now Christian communities can be a place of consciousness-raising, discernment, and commitment. We need to help each other live clearly and responsibly. This crisis can make us more human and more Christian.
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf