Here I am, quite as big as a Mosquito, and I am telling things to the pope?! What Nerve! I must be Bonkers. …But See What I said to the People, and What the pope can say.
India’s sonia gandhi is supposed to have ONE KHARAB as we call it, (of rupees), which is 10 to the Power 11, and is that a 100 billion? Forgive me, all these large numbers confuse me, Haha. Of course, she is nothing compared to the Upstart putin, who is reported to have 400 KHARAB! All this according to the FORBES magazine.
So, on the one side, We have people who are Sickeningly rich! Wonder just What they CAN do with it! They go and bury it under swiss soil. And let me remind the swiss, by the way, that this is ABSOLUTELY NON-CHRISTIAN behaviour. Be that as it may, Fat Cats, who do not, and cannot keep money in their own countries, can enjoy the money just So much, I would think! And after these depositors die, the money, the gold and the diamonds become the bank’s! Any way, Who Cares! I don’t.
On the Other side, We have such a Large Percentage of the Earth’s population that has to ‘Grind’ away at their Toil just to Earn their Daily Bread.
Take the Case of a Large Chain store in South India, named ‘saravanas.’ They have Unpteen Hundreds, if not Thousands, of employees. As one of them shared, they get paid rs. 5,500 pm, which may not be So bad, but it is for THIRTEEN hours of Work every day, 9 AM to 11 PM, with Short breaks for meals, (board and lodging free), but WITH NO PAID LEAVE WHATSOEVER. And they have to spend these 13 hours of Work STANDING. If Anybody sits during these hours, they will be ‘caught’ by the CCTV cameras, and reprimanded. Repeated ‘offences’ of this kind would end in removal from work.
Those who work here are VIRTUAL SLAVES. Paid that even after 5 years of joining. NO leave with Pay. [Food, of sorts, and Lodging, also of sorts, like a mat on the floor, are Free]. The problem is that Other shops would pay less!
If We do not Think about People like these, and DO something about it, Our Lent is Useless. If We do not give our Staff Living Wages, Humane Working Conditions and Facilities, We are Not Christians.
The picture is the scene inside the stores. Taken from Facebook.
JUST WHOSE BUSINESS IS IT TO TALK ABOUT THIS?
I had occasion to give a Talk to a small community recently. I had felt Inspired to take Luke 3:13-14. …Many seemed to believe in the Baptism given by St. John the Baptist. So people from varied kinds of life were coming to him. Among them were even the businessmen of that age, and soldiers.
The People were believing that these ‘Baptisms’ would wash away their sins, and that they would be ‘forgiven’ and become Free of their sins and guilt. John asks them What makes them think that this would happen.
John is Not taking this Kindly! He calls them Snakes, meaning, LOW LIFE. But that is the Power of a Holy Man. Though they were Chided So Badly by the Baptist, they ‘Humble themselves enough’ to ask him what they should do.
In Verse 13, John says to the Tax Collectors: “DON’T COLLECT MORE THAN IS LEGAL.” Just as We have ‘User Fee Collection Points,’ and ‘Octrois’ (do these still exist?) in India, these tax collectors collected tax money for the ruling romans, and ‘collected’ a hefty commission for themselves. They used to levy such High rates, (more profit for them!), that they were a hated lot. The word, ‘tax collector,’ was a By-word, a word of derision and hatred. …It is to them that John directly says the above words. Let us remember that he had also queried: “Who told you that you could escape from the Punishment (merely by going through the ritual of Baptism)?” (Verse 7, ibid).
Above, a Dear Policeman is ‘collecting’ his ‘Due’ for the day. Even at such low resolutions, it is Clear that the policeman’s uniform is of a Better quality than that of the Man who is being forced to give the Bribe. You have to Bribe if You want to Work! Keeping a small shop, or Selling Vegetables or Fruit loaded on Your Bicycle cannot be done without giving Bribes.
The policeman would be Earning at least THREE times what the poor man is making. On top of that, the police are given Free (or Nominally charged) Quarters, Allowances for Food and Uniforms, Paid holidays, Medical facilities. In India, No police person pays for Traveling in a Bus. YET they demand a bribe.
Evidently these things are ages old! They were happening during St. John’s time. Though it was the ‘soldiers’ who were doing the policing then. And it is to Them that John says: “DON’T TAKE MONEY FROM ANYONE BY FORCE, OR ACCUSE ANYONE FALSELY(!). BE CONTENT WITH YOUR PAY.”
So things like ‘the force’ accusing people falsely, which We would call ‘Filing False Charges or Cases’ today, were happening in those times too. Christ Died on the Cross, and Lent has been Observed 2,000 times, but what has been the Use?
It is Not only the police who take bribes. Bribery takes place in almost Every office, and is taken by politicos first of all, judges, and officials, etc. The Land Registration office, known as the ‘Tehsildar office,’ is a place where Every Common Man is Affected because of this Knavery. …Christians being in Every field of work, there are enough who hold even high offices, and take bribes.
During my homily I mentioned the name ‘judges,’ ‘tehesildars,’ and ‘police,’ etc. And at the Culmination I said:
“UNLESS You are ready to REPENT of having taken Bribes, CONFESS to it, and Are REALLY AND TRULY READY TO GIVE IT UP, YOU SHOULD NOT RECEIVE COMMUNION.”
WHY does not the pope say such things? Why don’t the bishops and priests? WHOSE business is it to say such things, then?