With last Sunday’s reading from the prophet Amos, we get a scathing critique of our own economy. Everyone is happy that the economy is growing, fears of a looming recession notwithstanding. Remember, “It’s the economy, stupid.” In our eviscerate culture today, ethics, environment, and empathy count for nothing anymore; it’s the money that matters. In this culture, people do not matter, only the money.

Let’s just tease out the key words from Amos. Complacent, comfortable, improvising, and “yet they are not made ill by the collapse of Joseph.” Frank Sinatra’s “I Did It My Way” is right at home here. Dives, too.

One has to admire the next generation, like the Swedish 15 year old, Greta Thunberg, who addressed the United Nations. Like the Pharisees at the supper when Jesus told this parable of Lazarus the poor man who “sneered at him” (Luke 16, 14), certain world leaders did the same. Like Amos she was totally in their face.

Even the Church today feels very uncomfortable with the prophets, for example, not the Napa ‘faith first’, concerned with doctrinal purity above everything else amidst a very wealthy crowd.

Alan Hartway

Theological Studies at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago IL; Master of Fine Arts, Poetics, at Naropa University, Boulder CO 1996; Master of Arts, Greek Classics, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 2012; Taught at Naropa University from 1999 through 2015; Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies from 2007-2015; Member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Kansas City Province since 1974; Pastor at Guardian Angel Catholic Church, Mead, CO, ministry from 2007-2020 Currently Retired

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