In the wee hours of this morning, I could not sleep. I felt oppressed by the flaws of our political state. Politicians of both major parties are running up a huge national debt. Their primary concern seems to be to keep themselves in office, not by earning majority votes by voting for laws that benefit the majority of citizens, but by using bribes and kickbacks from special interests to buy votes with “earmarks” for those special interests and with “entitlement” programs which, in the guize of helping the less fortunate really addict them to government largess. Surely the end result of this way of doing things is the bankruptcy of our nation, with terrible suffering for all.
What, I wondered, can I do to help turn things around? How can I be part of the solution? Then I asked myself, am I part of the problem?
The underlying motive of our current national politics is the desire of people to get income that they have not earned through producing goods and services of true value. This desire has a name – GREED. Yes, Senators and Representatives seem, more often than not, to be greedy. The businesses and organizations which lobby them are certainly greedy. But what about people on welfare? Aren’t they taking income without producing things of equal value? What about me, on Social Security? What am I producing of value? And what does all this have to do with my claim to be a follower of Christ?
“For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies” Mat 14:19 Isn’t greed also and evil, which comes from our hearts? Isn’t there greed in my heart?
Dear Lord, with your Light that shines in my heart, let me see my own greed and rid me of it. Then show me how to turn others to that Light so that they, too, can see and let go their greed. Help me to articulate the peace and joy that are the reward of submission to baptism of Christ, that washes away greed and other evil and makes us able to live together, each as a unique and essential part of His body.