The first reading at Mass on Sunday, the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time, offered challenging words from the prophet Amos.
Listen to this, you who trample on the needy
and try to suppress the poor people of the country,
you who say, ‘When will New Moon be over
so that we can sell our corn,
and sabbath, so that we can market our wheat?
Then by lowering the bushel, raising the shekel,
by swindling and tampering with the scales,
we can buy up the poor for money,
and the needy for a pair of sandals,
and get a price even for the sweepings of the wheat.’
The Lord swears it by the pride of Jacob,
‘Never will I forget a single thing you have done.’
Having heard the words again, and perhaps, again, been chastened by them, what might we do?
It is possible that we may be guilty of these injustices ourselves, personally and directly. If so, the way ahead may seem clear.
More complex is it, if we feel free from such deliberate, personal injustice, but complicit in systems that unjustly, cruelly, exploit the vulnerable for the profit of multinationals whose products we consume (at best price!) or the more ‘advanced’ economies which abuse their economic and political stability disadvantaging emerging economies and ‘newer’, less well resourced communities and nations. What then?
The motto ‘Live Simple’ points one way forward. Deliberately supporting charities and other organisations that seek to resource and reinforce more fragile communities is another.
- How do you respond to injustice?
The cup of justice. Iona Abbey. (c) 2011, Allen Morris.