Dream dreams

When the two blind men approached Jesus, the nonviolent Jesus, who shows us the face of the god of Peace, asked, “Do you believe that I can do this?”
Do we believe that Jesus can do this? Do we believe that the nonviolent Jesus can come through on his promise of peace and justice? Do we believe that he will make all things new? Do we believe that he will wipe away every tear?
This is the seminal question before us. We are free to answer, “No.” If we do, we can then go about our lives—working, playing golf, playing bridge, traveling to exotic places without any real sense of purpose of direction in our lives. Many choose this option and seem to fare well.
Or, we can answer, “Yes.” We can choose to live in expectant hope. We can pray and work to bring about peace and justice. We can live by faith and trust in the God of Peace to fulfill her promises in due time.
If we do not have a vision as we pursue peace and justice, we will perish. What is our vision? What drives us on? What helps us to keep on keeping on?
During Advent, Isaiah invites us to dream dreams. Can we envision a world
• Where the leaders do not lie to, manipulate and victimize the people?
• Where people do not marginalize other people for their profit?
• Where every nation has a department of peace which receives more funding than the department of defense?
• Where all nuclear weapons have been disarmed and junked?
• Where budgets reflect moral principles?
• Where the poor and lowly have been lifted up?
• Where every person has enough food and adequate shelter?
• Where every person has adequate medical care?
• World which provides education for every person?
• Where there is no more war or rumors of war?
• Where defense contractors are now working to alleviate the human misery they have created?
• Where all live in peace and harmony?
• Where people love one another as Jesus has loved them?
• Where people forgive one another?
If you can dreams these dreams, then you are an Advent person. The vision will sustain you as you go about your work of peacemaking.
Wee need to know that these dreams are not impossible dreams. Professor William Quigley from Loyola University in New Orleans has written a paper calling for a constitutional amendment which guarantees the right to decent work at a living salary. Professor Goodwin Liu from UC Berkeley has written a paper which asserts that the Fourteenth Amendment confers national citizenship. In order to be fully functioning citizens, people need an adequate education and productive work. He further asserts that, under article 5 of the amendment, Congress has an affirmative duty to provide these things.
And hard as it may be to imagine with today’s “leadership” in Washington, President Franklin Roosevelt actually proposed a Second Bill of Rights in his State of the union address in 1944. It included shelter, food, medical care, work and education.
This is all very consistent with Catholic social teaching and gives us ground for hope. The recent statement by the American Bishops on Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship addresses the key issues in some detail with an eye toward practicality. http://www.usccb.org/bishops/FCStatement.pdf
Let us dream dreams. Let us get informed. Let us roll our sleeves and work for peace and justice with a renewed vigor. Jesus can do what he promised!

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