Wednesday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time
Where Jesus says “beware of false prophets” today, we might change a bit to “false profits.” Many people, especially those with little marginal income, are spending their money wastefully hoping to strike it rich or to live high off the hog while neglecting their responsibilities. A recent support shows the credit card debt has nearly quadrupled since 1989; that the poor spend a much greater portion than the rich on state lotteries; and that usury is thriving.
Fiscal imprudence may not seem to have much to do with the gospel, yet that is due to a fault in our vision. First of all, it indicates where people place their hearts. Our treasure, of course, should be sought first in doing God’s will and not in vacation homes, luxury sports cars, or gourmet dining. In exactly the same way buying multiple lottery tickets or running up large credit bills will undermine today’s gospel mandate to produce good fruit.
American excess has a disturbing social aspect as well. Becoming a society of spendthrifts and not savers, of egotists concerned about ourselves today and not altruists with an eye out for future generations weakens our social ties and impossibly burdens future generations. As a people, we want to give glory and thanks to God by exhibiting mutual concern and by modeling righteousness to one another and handing it on as a legacy to future generations.