This past Sunday the celebrant, a missionary, focused on this passage in the Sunday gospel: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” (Matthew: 19:24). The priest went on to explain to the parishioners the evils of storing up riches or, aspiring to be wealthy. He continued to say what good is wealth if one, who is rich, didn’t do good works with his or her possessions.
As I listened with an open mind I suddenly remembered my dear and wonderful friend and ex-boss, Carl Motheral, owner of Motheral Printing Co. Carl, in my humble opinion was a business genius. When I went to work for Motheral Printing in 1967, the company was a small company. Wanting to expand the business, Carl’s brothers, Foist and Wes asked their younger brother, Carl, who had a thriving export business in Mexico to join the company, which he did. Within 2 to 3 years the company grew tremendously. After he joined the company, Carl bought most of the properties around the once small company and within time the company encompassed two full city blocks. Carl then hired some of the most talented printing salesmen in Fort Worth and expert journeymen rotary pressmen. Within a few short years the company was thriving with lucrative business accounts like: General Dynamics, Bell Helicopter, American Airlines, Mary Kay Products, Alcon Laboratories and scores of other thriving companies in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Needless to say, the company thrived and Motheral’s employees were reaping the benefits in enjoying great benefits and salaries. Besides being a great businessman, Carl was a generous man. It wasn’t uncommon for us to get a rewarding bonus every Christmas. And, during summer, the company would take all of its employees along with their families to Six Flags to enjoy a wonderful outing and a catered picnic free of cost. Having won several awards for the company with my typesetting skills, Carl and I became close friends. So close, that when his son, Jim, got married, my wife and I were invited to the wedding reception at a prestigious country club. So here you have me, a typesetting American Hispanic, rubbing elbows with Fort Worth’s elite.
During the course of my employment at Motheral’s, Carl begged me to join the company’s Profit Sharing Plan. Eventually, I did. After 18 wonderful years at Motheral’s I was offered a lucrative position at General Dynamics as an Engineer Illustrator due to my computer typesetting skills. Carl encouraged me to take the well paying job and then gave me a check for 50 thousand dollars from my Stock Sharing Plan. Folks, all I had contributed in 6 years was 6 thousand, which grew into 50 grand. Carl then told me to roll over my check. I asked, “Carl, what the hell is roll over?” He instructed me to reinvest my money otherwise the government would take one third of it if I spend it. Carl then found me an investor and today that initial 6 thousand dollar investment has grown beyond my wildest expectations, which allows my wife and I to be financially secure and am able to help my daughter send our grandkids to Catholic school that is rather costly.
Another wealthy businessman I worked for part time as a typesetter in the 1960s was Mr. George Levitan, a Jew, who owned Good Publishing. Mr. Levitan hired whites, blacks and Hispanics as pressmen, lithographers and bindery workers where many learned good printing trades. To him color didn’t matter as long as you were a good worker. Most of Mr. Levitan’s office personnel were black women who ran a very efficient business office. Daily, Mr. Levitan would feed all of his workers during lunch with a hot meal prepared at the company cafeteria. During the Fat Stock Show, Mr. Levitan would outbid all his competitors winning the prized 4H Club bulls and later he’d have the bull slaughtered and give the meat to needy families.
Besides Carl Motheral and George Levitan, one man sticks out in my mind as a wealthy, yet, generous business gentleman. His name was Nick Dieb, an Arab, who for years owned a department store in my Hispanic barrio (neighborhood) in North Fort Worth where I grew up in the 40s and 50s. One must remember that back then most didn’t have credit cards as we do today. If you got credit at a store it was all up to the owner and the honest word of the purchaser. Most of the poor Hispanic households would purchase school clothes, shoes, toys, and school supplies at Nick’s. I remember vividly my mom sending me to buy shoes and told to tell Nick to charge it. I don’t recall Nick ever denying me, a young kid, from purchasing shoes on credit at his store. Nick would take out a little book with ‘REZA’ written on it and mom later would pay him.
Again, I ask the question are all rich people mean and calloused towards the poor? My honest assessment is “no!” In contrast there’s not a week that goes by where I read in the newspaper or see on the news supposedly poor folks who rob, kill, rape, molest children, and Lord knows what else. I ask, “Is it easier for them to go to heaven because they are poor?” I also read where some clergymen of all faiths abuse children, women, and live lavish lifestyles, plus use a lot of their money they collect for their own use rather than helping the poor and hungry. Does anybody recall the shenanigans of the Rev. Jim Bakker and his wife Tammy Faye and the bawling Rev. Jimmy Swaggart? Again I ask, “Is it also easier for abusive clergymen to enter heaven than the rich?”
When the mass ended the missionary told the congregation that he was selling candles at $10 each to offset his gas expenses that he said was very costly. I felt like asking the missionary, “Father, would it upset you if I bought a candle with the money I made from the evil rich guys in the Stock Market?”
... written by Charlie Alvarado , October 19, 2012
Why does this dude crow/brag about his money all the time? And about all the good things that supposedly he has done and accomplished. He claims to be Catholic/Christian and quotes the Bible on the dangers of a camel having a better chance to inter heaven then a rich man. Then he goes on to try to illustrate that the Bible is "WRONG." If all those people are wrongfully doing/begging as he claims, then if they don't repent, they'll be going to hell. No matter who you voted for, nor what party you belong to. I suggest that the author take a look at what HE'S doing and correct it before the thief comes unexpectidly during the night of judgement.
Jeremiah 9:23 ESV "Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches,"
... written by Pope1944 , October 19, 2012
James, I will address you because, as usual, Charlie only knows how to vilify and condemn. This very subject of how we view the rich has come up in conversation the last few days. We were trying to figure out when being rich became a bad thing. When I was growing up in Detroit, one of 11 kids, my father worked three jobs to support our family. We lived only a few miles from an area called Grosse Pointe (the equivalent of Highland Park in this area). I remember our annual trip to drive through the city looking at the great Christmas lights display. We were amazed. What we were not was jealous or feeling that we "deserved" some of their money. I am at a loss to understand the attitude that seems to have gained such momentum in the last few years. Why are rich people portrayed as evil. Why do so many people think that the 35% tax rate top earners pay is not enough. Look at the grief that Romney took for pointing out that 47% of American tax payers don't pay any Federal taxes (it's going to be over 50% this year). People were outraged that someone would point this out. The answer from them was to focus on the rich and say that they need to pay more. I'm glad to hear that you got good advice from the men you worked for. What it truly shows, that others seem to not get or to ignore, is that ANYONE who really wants to succeed and get ahead in this country can if they try. I don't begrudge anyone whatever they have. Whether they earned it or inherited their wealth, that's about them, not about me. I'm happy to have enough to live comfortably, have great children that have always taken care of themselves after college and have an extended family, both rich and not so rich, who stay in touch and love each other.
... written by Charlie Alvarado , October 22, 2012
I don't vilify anything. I respond to lies. But I "DO" condemn those who try to degrade something/someone with falsehoods. There's nothing wrong with being rich. What's wrong is that some, well to do, don't care about the hard working people who made them rich. And it's not about making the rich pay more, it's about getting them to pay what they were paying before Dubya gave them that huge tax break. Before then, it were projected to get us out of debt by "THIS YEAR." And don't feel pregnant about your dad having three jobs. I had three jobs myself for about 2 years running. And I started working at age 12 for 35¢ hr. You evil dudes claim that we see "ALL" rich people as evil. That's been your game all this time. Then if a person "NOT" of your choice does something wrong, you blame all his/her party. If you really don't care about who has money, then you should vote for the "POOR" who really need our help during this hard times. Matthew 6:24 ESV “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
... written by Charlie Alvarado , October 22, 2012
This is part of the Gospel for Sunday 10/21/12.
"Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with, 40 but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.”
41 "When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John. 42 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
I guess the poor of this world "ARE" the lucky ones. ¿Que no?