God our deliverer,
defender of the poor and needy;
when the foundations of the earth are shaking,
give strength to your people to uphold justice and fight all wrong,
in the name of your son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
David Stancliffe (1942-)
I am celebrating the Fourth this year while in London. I’ve been away from the US a number of times on the Fourth of July, and I am always struck by the influence our independence and love of freedom has made on the rest of the world.
This year, however, I think it is a good day to ponder how we are now squandering the sacrifices of so many who gave their all that we could be an example of all that is good and right. I truly love my country. Yet, I have never feared for her as I do today. We stand by in abject silence as the true values of our great nation are being extinguished one by one.
This isn’t democracy at work…it is unadulterated greed; partisan politics working to benefit the wealthy, with no pretense of helping those in our society with the greatest need. Every senator voting for this bill is sending a clear and unambiguous one-finger salute to the vast majority of our nation.
Wouldn’t our world be a far better place for all our family if we could be consistently working toward such a simple goal? The ripples of grace and justice each of us could create would have an impact far beyond our imagination.
I m currently editing a children’s book on ways to help the hungry. When I saw this, I again realized that helping others, serving others, living for others are all at the core of changing the world and achieving true justice. That’s true for all of us, and not just children.
The new Health Care Bill passed by the House yesterday is yet another example of how power corrupts and the greed of the wealthy knows no limits. Our nation sees less justice with each passing day for the poor, the marginalized, and the powerless.
Those of us who identify with the least of these among us, those of us who try to live lives modeled after the man of Nazareth, know that the answer to injustice is love. And the more radical that love, the more effective it is at ripping through the lies of those in power.
Now is the time for us to demonstrate faithfulness to the Gospel in everything we do and say. Now is when we must not be silent, but speak the truth to those whose disregard for justice threatens those who need it most.