Monday, November 5, 2018
Today, in Mercy, we continue our readings from Paul’s inspiring letter to the Philippians. Paul sincerely loves this community and wants them to be perfected in Christ.
This is what Jesus wants for us too. Today’s Gospel is just one example of Jesus showing his followers the way to holiness. He uses the opportunity of a dinner to remind those gathered that they are very fortunate. Their lives are like a banquet compared with the lives of those who are poor and burdened.
He suggests that his followers do what God would do:
When you hold a banquet,
invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind;
blessed indeed will you be
because of their inability to repay you….
Just such an opportunity to be blessed awaits us, in the USA, at our southern border. A wave of God’s beloved poor and besieged washes toward us. Will we meet them with true mercy and justice born out of Christian charity? Or will we confront them with a brutal show of power born of fear and alienation?
Of course, there are legitimate concerns with such a large migration. But these concerns must be met with wisdom and prudence, not prejudice and vilification. This is not a horde of animals attacking us. These are human beings desperately seeking a better life.
Jesus thought that his table companions, gifted as they were by God, had the moral capacity to respond to his challenge. Can he expect the same of us?
Let’s hope so, because our Gospel closes with a very compelling reason:
“For you will be repaid
(one way or the other, I might add)
at the resurrection of the righteous.”
Music: God of the Poor – Graham Kendrick