Brothers and sisters:
Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,
[Ignatius of Loyola, Francis and Clare of Assisi, Franz Jaggerstetter, Oscar Romero, Dorothy Day, Cesar Chavez, Martin Luther King]
let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us
[Let us continue to grow in union with God who dwells within us as our deepest reality.
and persevere in running the race that lies before us.]
while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus,
[Keep your eyes on the prize! Run the good race. Stay focused. Do not be way laid by the false promises of our consumerist society.]
the leader and perfecter of faith.
For the sake of the joy that lay before him
[Joy, unlike pleasure, perdures through the good, the bad, and the ugly.]
Jesus endured the cross, despising its shame,
[We are foolish to the wise and weak to the powerful. We are often despised and looked down upon as silly dreamers.]
and has taken his seat at the right of the throne of God.
[Jesus now rules in power at the right hand of God. The Right Hand of God is love, service, compassion, justice, It is the opposite of tyhe Left Hand of greed, power, domination, exploitation, and selfishness–Michael lerner]
Consider how he endured such opposition from sinners,
[Pharisees, Sadducees—“religious leaders”—and imperial potentates. He ate with sinners. He allowed impure people to touch Him and He touched them. He welcomed all to his table.]
in order that you may not grow weary and lose heart.
[We live in the power of the Risen Jesus and His Holy Spirit. We ride on eagle’s wings! Eucharist strengthens us for the journey.]
In your struggle against sin
[More than personal sin—structural sin embedded in society which dehumanizes and takes us off task. We must challenge unjust structures! May God be with the people of Egypt and may they nonviolently throw off the yoke of oppression as the hands of self-serving wealthy rulers. They have the courage—the heart—to take on dominative structures and proclaim a new order based on justice.]
you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood.
[Some Egyptians have shed blood. We must stand over against empire and all its wiles and allurements. We must proclaim the Kin-dom without ceasing. We will take our lumps for doing so. We will take our lumps in society and, unfortunately, in the imperial, patriarchal church. Blessed are we when we are persecuted for the sake of Gospel—Kin-dom—values.]