Saturday, August 3, 2013

Against foolishness

by José Antonio Pagola (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Buenas Noticias: Blog de Jose Antonio Pagola
August 4, 2013

Luke 12:13-21

We know more and more about the socioeconomic situation Jesus experienced in Galilee in 30 AD. While wealth was growing in the cities of Sepphoris and Tiberias, hunger and destitution were increasing in the villages. The peasants were landless and the landowners built bigger and bigger silos and barns.

In a small tale, preserved by Luke, Jesus reveals what he thinks of that situation so contrary to the plan God wants of a more humane world for all. He doesn't tell this parable to denounce the abuses and outrages of the landowners, but to expose the folly into which they've settled.

A rich landowner is surprised by a great harvest. He doesn't know how to manage such abundance. "What shall I do?" His monologue reveals the foolish logic of the powerful who only live to hoard wealth and the good life, excluding the needy from their sight.

The rich man in the parable plans his life and makes decisions. He will destroy the old barns and build other bigger ones. There he will store his whole harvest. He will be able to accumulate goods for many years. Henceforth he will live only to enjoy them -- "rest, eat, drink, be merry!" God unexpectedly interrupts his plans: "You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?"

That man reduced his existence to enjoying his abundance of goods. The center of his life is just himself and his well-being. God is absent. The day laborers who work his lands don't exist. The families in the villages who are fighting hunger don't count. God's judgment is unequivocal -- that life is just stupidity and foolishness.

Right now, practically all over the world, inequality is growing alarmingly. This is the bleakest and most inhumane fact -- "the rich, and particularly the very rich, are getting richer, whereas the poor, and particularly the very poor, are getting poorer." (Zygmunt Bauman)

This fact is not something normal. It is simply the ultimate consequence of the most serious foolishness we humans are committing -- replacing friendly cooperation, solidarity and the quest for the common good of humanity with competition, rivalry and the hoarding of goods in the hands of the most powerful on the planet.

From the Church of Jesus which is present all over the Earth should be heard the outcry of his followers against such foolishness, and the reaction against the model that is guiding human history today.

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