MANILA, March 11, 2014—While a number of deadly viral diseases swept millions of lives across the globe during the course of human history, man’s insatiable desire for wealth spreads more bane than any other, Rev. Fr. Uldarico D. Dioquino, priest-in-charge of Kanlungan ni Maria in Antipolo said in a reflection a few days ago.
He pointed out that “the devil did not tempt Jesus with lust, gambling and drunkenness,” but with all the power and wealth on earth, as reward for turning his back from God and becoming subservient to the devil, to which Jesus, in human flesh, refused.
Fr. Dioquino accurately equated the devil’s temptation on Jesus at the Judaean desert to hold the whole world in his hands with the modern time capitalism, which he referred to as a “disease more deadly than Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), Ebola Virus, and cancer.”
He observed that the evil of today’s rapacity of business empires lies on how they work, which is “getting as much as they can from a person, and in return giving back as little as possible as they can.” And if it is still possible, they would not give any in return.
The greed for worldly possessions is the root of wars, of deceptions and exploitations of the weak by the intelligent and powerful, Fr. Dioquino said. Equal in saying that money is the root of all evil.
“Ang mga taong malnourished sa spiritual, nagugutom sa material,” he said. [People who are spiritually starved feed on material things.]
In the Philippines, this “disease” of greed demonstrates the symptoms of very low salary among the grassroots, high prices on basic commodities, he said. Schools increase tuition fees almost yearly. And the cost of medicine is high while more people cannot afford to buy.
Non-government organizations complain of the cut on the budget for education and health to expand the appropriation for the armed forces at a time the Philippines is not at war with another country, but facing internal armed conflicts with other rebels who call for social change through arms.
Kanlungan ni Maria program director Mary Jean Netario Cruz, a wellness coach, agrees with the priest. “Greed causes stress, which is bad for the body.” Opposite to the act of giving that “relaxes the body.” People who are insatiably greedy are stressed “because no matter what they have, they will not experience true happiness.” (Oliver Samson)