By Michael Pirri
In Jesus’ day, the tax system was easily corrupted. Tax collectors were effectively able to mark-up their taxes and take the difference for themselves. The more prominent the tax collector, the more tax they could add to tax collected by those below them; Zacchaeus was the chief tax collector – a very prominent man. It looks like wealth inequality is not something new to the 21st century!
When we talk about the widening wealth gap today, we think of the top 0.01% of earners, people who are worth billions of dollars. How can such inequality exist in the world? Why aren’t these people paying their fair share?
Zacchaeus wasn’t paying his fair share either. He was actually taking advantage of those less fortunate than himself.
As painful as it is sometimes to see that HST line at the bottom of your receipts, it helps it some way knowing that at least it helps to pay for things. It funds our hospitals and schools, pays for road repairs and subsidies to public transit, provides grants to non-profits that feed the poor.
What is disheartening though is that it is not enough. When will we, like Zacchaeus, climb the tree in our garden and look into the face of Jesus?
As I write this, the #unignorabletower is trending on social media. A building, dubbed the #unignorable tower, would need to have space for 116,317 individuals and families, proving the point of how massive our poverty and homelessness problem is. Standing at over 2.5 times the height of the CN Tower, The #UNIGNORABLE Tower was imagined by the United Way to represent the scale of the problem, and bring attention to this big and complicated issue.
Wisdom 11.22 – 12.2
2 Thessalonians 1.11 – 2.2
On November 9 and 10, we are holding our annual Christmas Drive to help fundraise for our Christmas meals and gift bags. Your $15 of support go a long way towards providing items to those in our community who need the most help.