This was a response to an assignment from my Intro to Theology class. I thought it was very fitting given tomorrow is the day of a large election here in the States.
“Don’t write about it. Don’t mention it. Don’t jeopardize the great work you are doing among the poor, among the workers. Just write about constructive things like Houses of Hospitality and Farming Communities.” “Keep silence with a bleeding heart,” one reader, a man, pro-war and therefore not a sentimentalist, writes us.
But we cannot keep silent. We have not kept silence in the face of the monstrous injustice of the class war, or the race war that goes on side by side with this world war…
We are in very troubled times. By not speaking out openly against the atrocities that are plaguing the world we become like the Pharisee in the parable of the Good Samaritan: the person who decides that keeping to a specific code of how we should live our lives is more important that protecting human life. That is not acting in love. We abruptly become people who are not being good stewards for the Creation. Christ calls us to speak out for the poor because Christ Himself became the poor.
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ Matt 25:35-40
Was Christ not a minister to the world? Did he not see the wrongs going on in the world and actively speak out against them no matter what others thought his “position” might or should be? There is a difference in becoming involved in politics and making a statement against policies that marginalize and condemn an already ostracized group even further.
We are called to love and to care for one another. This is a non-negotiable for a Christian. We are to love one another as God has loved us without exception. We are called to be the voice of the voiceless. The orphan. The widow. As ministers, we are supposed to be continuing the work of Jesus, as we all are.
“Love is measure by which we shall be judged,” St. John of the Cross said.
…And how can we express this love—by bombers, by blockades?…
We are called to love and to care for one another. No exceptions or excuses. Speak out for the voiceless. You would want them to do the same for you.