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By Fr. Robert J. Carr
©Catholic Online 2004

When I was in the Navy a man named Will came onboard to be part of our crew who was one of the greatest influences in my life. He never knew that and it has been over 25 years since I have seen him. Remember, I was a drinker and out of the church. He was one of the funniest guys I ever met, and he did not drink. He the first person to demonstrate to me that one did not have to drink to be 'cool'. Granted, there are and always have been alot of such people in the Navy, but in my mindset, at the time, I noticed few of them.

However, when I returned to the Church, I mentioned my new experience to him and he told me that he did not believe in Church.

"People go to Church to sell shoes." He said. That was a unique saying like most of his sayings.

"OK explain this one to me."

"Simple," he responded. "After mass or services people gather together."

"Hi, I am Mr. Smith." Says one. Greeting another.

"Oh I am Mrs. Jones." Says the other.

"Well, Mrs. Smith, I own the shoe store down the street." Will, feigning that he is giving someone his business card says "Call me if you need to buy some shoes."

Now, I disagree with that assessment, but it was interesting and it is also one of the things stated in today's first reading. People whose only focus is making money.

NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN

The book of Amos, almost 3000 years old, could have been written yesterday or today for that matter. Remember this is written to a believing community of that day, and the same could be said to a Christian community today. We see this everyday. Amos speaks to people who live with money and nothing but money completely in mind. Now this is not to say that all rich people are like this. That is not true, but if you want to see an example of these people only watch cable TV and see those get rich quick schemes. Like those in the first reading, in order for these to be successful, people need to wake up and go to bed thinking of nothing but how to make more money. People do in fact do that. What is key in Amos is that these people appear to be believing people. These are the people in the first reading, then and now.

In the Gospel we see the same issue from the opposite perspective. Jesus is demonstrating the industriousness of the unjust steward and saying if this man is so creative serving money, why cannot you be more creative serving My Father. It is an important question and one that stares us in the face every day now here in the United States, especially in Massachusetts.

WHAT IS TRUTH?

Approximately, two years ago the Justice system in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts collapsed. The symptoms of that collapse though present then have further raised their ugly head again.

You have seen the debacle over a television network and documents and you can see that the network has used forged documents to bring down, either purposely or not, the President of the United States. The question now is being raised how many more times has this happened. Nationally Syndicated talk show host Howie Carr on WRKO-AM here in Boston states that it happened at least one other time on that same network. The problem is we do not know how many more times this has happened on this or any other network or in any other news organization. Indeed, the only reason why the network got caught was because of the blogging community, a fairly new phenomenon in journalism.

Two years ago a Massachusetts Justice released all priests documents to lawyers who then released them to the media. The justice, therefore, put the then Archbishop and all priests on trial not in court but in the media, removing from the situation all the checks and balances that are part of a court trial. Indeed, in one of the most bizarre moves in the TV documents scandal, the network, CBS, turned to the main media outlet in Boston, of all places, The Boston Globe for support. Further, the Boston Globe gave support. This for a story that took place in Texas and aired out of New York.

Do you remember these words:

Cardinal Law: I have never seen that letter before.

Attorney: But that is your signature isn't it Your Eminence.

The question of forged documents came up then, but the media would not allow it to be addressed. Now we know that the media and others do use forged documents and we have no idea how many other times this has happened.

This is not about Cardinal Law, this is about you. Now each and everyone of us especially those of us in Massachusetts can be treated in exactly the same way because of one court decision.

Now, I do want to say that I am not at all stating that the lawyers purposely forged documents. I am saying that the possibility that when the Cardinal said under oath that he had never seen the documents before, he may have, in fact, been telling the truth, despite what the media presents. His words have substantial base now. By the way, that practice I just described was common in the Soviet Union.

A RIGHT TO A SPEEDY TRIAL?

Yet, that is the civil side of the law. The criminal is just as bad. There are people sitting in prison for two and three years or more who have not been brought to trial. We have a right to a speedy trial in this country, but they do not have the money for a decent lawyer. So they sit and the cases are not processed.

Presently, there are people trying to raise money to keep former Church buildings open in the Archdiocese of Boston. No where do they ask the question, "Is this what Jesus wants?" Yet, they are raising one hundred thousand dollars to pay to one lawyer in order that they keep their one building open.

What would Jesus say? How about, "Look at how much money they raise and how hard they work to keep one building open. What are you doing to glorify my name? You could raise the same amount of money or more and pay for decent legal representation for those who are sitting in prison for years. You could raise money to donate to the local hospital so that the hospital could better care for the poor. You could raise money for scholarships to decent (and not anti-catholic or anti-catholic values) colleges and high schools."

This is the other side of the crisis. Look at what they do, and look at how much power we have to do so much more.

THE POWER OF GRACE IN ACTION

The parable of the unjust steward and the action to keep churches open show us what can be done and in what spirit. As to any limits that existed before in our quest to do God's will, we now realize those limits are only up to Him and not up to us.

Contact

Catholicism Anew
http://www.catholicismanew.org MA, US
Fr. Robert J. Carr - Priest, 617 542-5682

Email

frbobcarr@catholicismanew.org

Keywords

CBS, Amos, 25th Sunday, Cardinal Law, Massachusetts

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