NO TO THE IDOLATRY OF MONEY
Money, when it becomes an absolute idol, is for Jesus the greatest enemy of building that world that has more dignity, justice and solidarity, the world that God wants. It’s now been 20 centuries since the Prophet of Galilee roundly denounced the cult of Money as the greatest obstacle to progress toward a more humane living that humanity will ever meet.
Jesus’ logic is overwhelming: «You cannot serve both God and Money». God can’t reign in the world and be Father of all without demanding justice for those who are excluded from a life of dignity. That’s why we can’t work for that more humane world God wants when we are dominated by a yearning to accumulate wealth, promote an economy that excludes those who are weakest, and abandon them to hunger and misery.
It’s surprising to see what’s happening with Pope Francis. While the communication media and social networks on the internet keep us informed down to the smallest detail about the most insignificant actions of his admirable personality, they hide almost embarrassingly his most urgent cry to all humanity: «No to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills».
Francis doesn’t need lengthy arguments or deep analyses to explain his thinking. He knows how to sum up his indignation in clear and expressive words that can open the newscast of any daily news or be the headline in the newspaper of any country. Here are just a few examples.
«How does it happen that it’s not news when a senior citizen dies of freezing in the middle of the street, but it is news that the stock market drops a few points. That’s exclusion. We shouldn’t tolerate the throwing out of food when people are hungry. That’s inequality».
We live «in the dictatorship of an economy without face and without a truly human objective». As a result, «while the profits of a few grow exponentially, the gains of the majority end up further and further from the well-being of that happy few».
«The culture of well-being anaesthetizes us, and we lose sleep if the market offers something that we haven’t bought yet, while all those lives shortened by lack of possibilities appear to us as entertainment that doesn’t touch us at all».
When they’ve accused him of being a communist, the Pope has responded unabashedly: «This message isn’t Marxism, but pure Gospel». A message that must find echo permanently in our Christian communities. Anything else would be a sign of something else, the Pope says: «We’re becoming incapable of feeling compassion for the cries of others and we no longer weep before the tragedy of others».
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf