September 24. Fr Joseph usually began his daily thought by saying, “God is good” and the people would respond, “All the time.” So this time he stopped and asked them to consider this in the light of the 1st reading. The word of the Lord came to Haggai the prophet, “take courage, work for I am with you according to the promise. I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land, and I will shake all nations so that the treasure of all nations shall come in and I will fill this house with splendour and in this place I will give prosperity. Haggai 2:1-9. He then asked, “On this Heritage Day is it appropriate to ask what is the Church’s current attitude towards prosperity? It has been a very complex matter throughout history and many extremely rich leaders, like Solomon, were admired, until later the wheels came off. Jesus spoke for the poor and the marginalised. Today very often the rich are denounced as greedy and insensitive to the needs of others. Yet all our calling is to share our prosperity with others, especially those in need.
It needs to be said that, generally speaking, there is little in the way of clear awareness of problems which especially affect the excluded. Yet they are the majority of the planet’s population, billions of people. Today, we have to realize that a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor. LS49. The rich and the poor have equal dignity for the Lord is the maker of them all. LS94
To blame population growth instead of extreme and selective consumerism on the part of some, is one way of refusing to face the issues. It is an attempt to legitimize the present model of distribution, where a minority believes that it has the right to consume in a way which can never be universalised since the planet could not even contain the waste products of such consumption. We know that approximately a third of all food produced is discarded and whenever food is thrown out it is as if it were stolen from the table of the poor. LS 50
ECO-TIP AND PRAYER: As we celebrate also consider the elements of our Heritage as families and as a people? Have a clean-out and donate unused items to charity for love of the poor. Pray for acceptance and response to “the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.” Glory be to the Father…………….