SIR 35:12-14, 16-18; 2TM 4:6-8, 16-18; LK 18: 9-17
30th Sunday in Ordinary Time
“(The LORD) hears the cry of the oppressed.”
That’s the implicit question God asks us in the first reading. As we move through our lives and enter into relationships with others, do we help free them to become more fully human or do we passively or actively participate in their oppression?
Oppression comes in many forms. Economic oppression occurs when people are trapped inside of a system that, by design or neglect, keeps them poor with no realistic way out. Political oppression occurs when some or all in a society are unable to influence the make-up of the government that has power over them. Social oppression takes its’ most notorious form as racism. Violence, malnutrition, unlawful imprisonment, abuse, and additction are all among the sad litany of forces of oppression. Certainly we are called to do all we can to work together to build more just societies. We won’t be judged primarily on our Gross Domestic Product.
For the most part, however, our willingness to stand up to oppression manifests itself in smaller, more subtle ways. In how we treat our children and our spouses and our families and friends. In the kind of work we chose to do and the love for those whom we serve which we put into that work. In our willingness to become involved in our local communities and to do what we can to make them kinder, gentler places to live.
I don’t think it will matter terribly much, in the end, how many people we had power over. But I think God will be very interested in the number of people whom we have empowered.
(3rd millennium pilgirm)
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