Today’s gospel reading draws attention to a subject dear to many hearts over the past month—economic survival or profit.
As I write (31 July) senior hospital specialists are negotiating with their employers for more attractive pay and conditions to stop an exodus of doctors across the Tasman.
Hospital cleaners, meanwhile, have had their pay boosted by three dollars an hour from just above the minimum adult wage. In their fight for this, they were subjected to an illegal lockout, thus giving up sorely needed pay. Read more of this on page 14.
While this has been going on there has been a run on the dollar shooting it to above 80 US cents, threatening jobs as exporters take their enterprises offshore where wages are cheaper and there are fewer controls. What a month!
So Jesus’ words are timely for our reflection.
‘Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions’ (Lk 12:15).
As Veronica Lawson points out in her commentary on this page, we are a community of people. Everything we do has an impact on someone else. In gospel terms we are called to care for each other, particularly those less fortunate. Jeff Drane has some comments on the struggle to survive in this profit-focused economy on page 14. A principle of Catholic Social Teaching is to strive for the common good. This is discussed in a work context in a seminar on the 40-year-old papal encyclical, Populorum Progressio on page 15.
Jesus teaches us to think differently from the mainstream—to work for the good of all, including our environment—to be rich towards God.
Social Justice Week starts on 9 September with its focus on land and the environment. How are you caring for God’s earth and its inhabitant