Sunday, September 27, 2009

More from James

Luther, in his vituperations, called the Epistle of James, the Epistle of Straws. Yes, these straws broke the misshapen hump of that camel. Several gems of truth are in that slim book. The second reading of the mass to-day (Year B) is from James v. 1-6. It is a cry for social justice. God is with the poor and mistreated. God is a friend to the laborer, and his justice will fall harshly on the robbing rich. There are many congregations, and congregants that will not receive this message gladly. There are four sins that cry out to heaven. This is the one from the New Testament:
Come now, you rich, weep and wail over your impending miseries.
Your wealth has rotted away, your clothes have become moth-eaten,
your gold and silver have corroded,
and that corrosion will be a testimony against you;
it will devour your flesh like a fire.
You have stored up treasure for the last days.
Behold, the wages you withheld from the workers
who harvested your fields are crying aloud;
and the cries of the harvesters
have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.
You have lived on earth in luxury and pleasure;
you have fattened your hearts for the day of slaughter.
You have condemned;
you have murdered the righteous one;
he offers you no resistance.―NAB

Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl in your miseries, which shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted: and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered: and the rust of them shall be for a testimony against you, and shall eat your flesh like fire. You have stored up to yourselves wrath against the last days. Behold the hire of the labourers, who have reaped down your fields, which by fraud has been kept back by you, crieth: and the cry of them hath entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth. You have feasted upon earth: and in riotousness you have nourished your hearts, in the day of slaughter. You have condemned and put to death the Just One, and he resisted you not. ― DRC
Fortunate and just the congregation that has a lector with a stentorian and dramatic voice to proclaim God’s Truth. Some might recognise their faults and squirm in discomfort, or sit in stony silence and contempt.

Also, to-day in the Gospel is the warning about the millstone to the corrupters of youth. From the following many applications of to-days horrors can be expounded upon, especially self-inflected scandal.
Et quisquis scandalizáverit unum ex his pusíllis credéntibus in me : bonum est ei magis si circumdarétur mola asinária collo ejus, et in mare mitterétur.
And whosoever shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me; it were better for him that a millstone were hanged around his neck, and he were cast into the sea.
― Mark ix. 41. DRC

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