sexta-feira, 23 de setembro de 2016


Because you have plundered many nations,
the peoples who are left will plunder you.
For you have shed human blood;
you have destroyed lands and cities
and everyone in them.
Habakkuk 2:8 (read 2:6b-9)

"I do not want illicit money in my home to poison my children." This was the response of a friend who received a proposal made by a dishonest notary official. A buyer did not take care of the documentation of proof of payment of the real-estate bought from my friend, and the official suggested that he take advantage of the omission and reclaim the property. He refused. Character is a more precious legacy than material wealth. Losing character in order to profit at another's expense would be detrimental to future generations. My friend considered anything dishonestly earned to be poison.

The human being is the greatest predator on earth. The other predators hunt only to satisfy physical hunger, and do not kill on a "full stomach". Among other animals (humans are animals too) there is no such thing as “rich and poor”. Each seeks only the essentials. Humans kill and steal on a “full stomach”. Among humans, the major predators are those who already have much, but are never satisfied with what they have. They crave even more.

The scenario that the prophet Habakkuk depicts is a picture of "civilization”, ancient and modern. The main thing that humanity has perfected during more than six millennia of history is the perfection of its instruments and techniques of predation. The hunting tools of early groups were the same as used in tribal conflicts. There were no specific weapons for war. With the advent of "civilization", heavier weapons began to be developed for the sole purpose of killing other human beings. Today nations have large stocks of guns, grenades, cannons, rockets, chemical and nuclear bombs, military aircraft, submarines, war ships, etc. - all with the sole purpose of destroying other humans! Humankind is a predator against itself. People (soldiers) are specifically trained to kill other people.

Primitive people drew their sustenance by direct contact with mother earth without changing the ecological balance. Our industrialized economic system transforms the earth into prey and grows by devastating nature and compromising future generations. Greed has made humankind into a monstrous, self-destroying predator.

The prophetic vision of all ages has seen the result of predation by greedy humans. Since the time of Habakkuk nothing has changed except for the worse. The Habakkuks of today do not cry "Woe be to you." but rather "Woe be to us!" The world has become a great Babylon. The current model is leading humanity to self-destruction. Men are predators of themselves.

Jesus offers the alternative: Share, not accumulate. Collaborate, not compete. Be supportive, not selfish. Exercise forgiveness, not revenge. Live justice, not do justice. Take up the cross, not guns. Give ourselves for others, not protect ourselves from others. Salvation comes by walking as Jesus walked. Destruction comes by accompanying society’s blind march into violence.


 “‘Woe to him who piles up stolen goods
    and makes himself wealthy by extortion!
    How long must this go on?’
Will not your creditors suddenly arise?
    Will they not wake up and make you tremble?
    Then you will become their prey.
Because you have plundered many nations,
    the peoples who are left will plunder you.
For you have shed human blood;
    you have destroyed lands and cities and everyone in them.
“Woe to him who builds his house by unjust gain,
    setting his nest on high
    to escape the clutches of ruin!

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