At mass today I was struck by the Old Testament reading.
It’s a reading from the prophet Amos and was obviously written a long, long time ago. Despite the age of the passage I found it amazingly pertinent to the world today. In our period of austerity imposed by the Coalition government the poor have been badly hit and the rich seem to be prospering. This is obviously nothing new as Amos rails against those who cheat the poor.
I repeat the passage here.
Listen to this, you who trample on the needyand try to suppress the poor people of the country,you who say, ‘When will New Moon be overso that we can sell our corn,and Sabbath, so that we can market our wheat?
Then by lowering the bushel, raising the shekel,by swindling and tampering with the scales,we can buy up the poor for money,and the needy for a pair of sandals,and get a price even for the sweepings of the wheat.’
That day – it is the Lord who speaks –I will make the sun go down at noon,and darken the earth in broad daylight.
I am going to turn your feasts into funerals,all your singing into lamentation;I will have your loins all in sackcloth,your heads all shaved.
I will make it a mourning like the mourning for an only son,as long as it lasts it will be like a day of bitterness.
See what days are coming – it is the Lord who speaks –days when I will bring famine on the country,a famine not of bread, a drought not of water,but of hearing the word of the Lord.
They will stagger from sea to sea,wander from north to east,seeking the word of the Lordand failing to find it.
I wonder how that would be received by our government today. They have recently prompted the idea of teaching our young people traditional values. Well traditional values would be old values and you don’t get many older than the Old Testament.
Do you think the Coalition might recognize themselves in the passage? Perhaps that’s just seeing it my way.