Hear this, you who trample upon the needy and destroy the poor of the land:… and they reply: “We will buy the destitute for silver, and the poor for a pair of sandals; even the worthless grain we will sell.”
Amos 8:4, 6 NABRE
So many times the prophets chastised the leaders and the wealthy of Israel and Judah for their lust for wealth and their contempt and lack of care for the poor. Later, during His ministry, Jesus would tell one young man to sell all his goods and follow Him, and when the young man failed to do so, He said “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God” (from Matthew 19:21-24 NABRE)
What did we expect to see? A land flowing with milk and honey? The lamb lying down with the lion? Swords beaten into plowshares? Or did we expect to see a government effectively working for all people, not just the wealthy?
Owners and CEOs ensuring their workers receive a living wage? Incomes of average workers rising at the same rate as their productivity? A Supreme Court protective of our right to have our voices heard equally in the public square? Justice? Kindness? Humility?
Did we truly expect to see those things? Or was it only a dream, something for us to continue to struggle for and work toward and pray for?
Creator and Sustainer, look with pity on your people and grant us the justice and kindness and humility you asked of us all so long ago. Amen.