Retirement was meant to be easy and simple. Instead, for the last ten months, we have been involved in a battle of wits and wisdom with the powers and principalities of Australia’s labyrinthine financial regulatory system. In seeking redress for a failed retirement “lease for life” scheme, our cohort of some 105 retirees plus their landlords and investors have encountered lies, chicanery, buck-passing, evasion, entrapment, and ducking and weaving while dealing with august institutions charged with consumer protection. When principals (and principles) are not held to account, Australia’s apparent reputation as the seat of the crime capital of the world is well deserved.
Honesty, candor and transparency seem to have little skin in this game.
As our campaign continues, it is instructive to reflect on some of the ancient Christian commemorations of Holy Tuesday that focus on Jesus’ encounters with the ruling elite of the Temple. They use sophistry and trickery to entrap this dangerously popular teacher. In the end, their hypocrisy is exposed as they take and dispose of him by force. In argument, however, Jesus is always one step ahead of the game, and his integrity is ever intact.
The events described in the gospels are not meant to be analysed chronologically, but reflected on for meaning and application. Here is a simple summary for those inspired to continue.
According to common interpretation of the Bible, Holy Tuesday is when Jesus was issued various challenges by the Pharisees and Sadducees over subjects such as marriage in heaven, paying taxes to Caesar, and the source of His authority (Matthew 21:23—23:39; Mark 11:27—12:44; Luke 20:1—21:4). By this same interpretation, this is the day Jesus commented on the widow’s donation (Mark 12; Luke 21) and was approached by a number of God-fearing Greeks (John 12:20–36). Tuesday would also be the day Jesus spoke His eight “woes” against the Pharisees (Matthew 23:13–36) and the evening on which He delivered the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24—25; Mark 13; Luke 21:5–36).
The commemoration of Easter events does not stop with Good Friday or even Easter Sunday. Jesus’ story of resurrection goes on, equipping his frightened disciples with fresh courage and understanding . He ascends and then returns in the form of Spirit at the feast of Pentecost, outpouring on all flesh, equipping the receptive with the means to build a new global community imbued with compassion and creative boldness.
No tricks can stand against such a reality.