Disturb the Comfortable

Disturb the Comfortable

Thus says the LORD:
Share your bread with the hungry,
shelter the oppressed and the homeless;
clothe the naked when you see them,
and do not turn your back on your own.

Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
and your wound shall quickly be healed;
your vindication shall go before you,
and the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer,
you shall cry for help, and he will say: Here I am!
If you remove from your midst
oppression, false accusation and malicious speech;
if you bestow your bread on the hungry
and satisfy the afflicted;

then light shall rise for you in the darkness,
and the gloom shall become for you like midday. (Is 58:7-10)

Jesus said to his disciples:
“You are the salt of the earth.
But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned?
It is no longer good for anything
but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
You are the light of the world.
A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. (Mt 5:13-14)

The bishops of the US summarized the social teaching contained in these passages and in Matthew 25 in Communities of Light and Salt:

The roots of this call to justice and charity are in the Scriptures, especially in the Hebrew prophets and the life and words of Jesus. Parish social ministry has clear biblical roots.

In the gospel according to Luke, Jesus began his public life by reading a passage from Isaiah that introduced his ministry and the mission of every parish. The parish must proclaim the transcendent message of the gospel and help:

  • bring “good news to the poor” in a society where millions [14%] lack the necessities of life;
  • bring “liberty to captives” when so many are enslaved by poverty, addiction, ignorance, discrimination, violence, or disabling conditions;
  • bring “new sight to the blind” in a culture where the excessive pursuit of power or pleasure can spiritually blind us to the dignity and rights of others; and
  • “set the downtrodden free” in communities where crime, racism, family disintegration, and economic and moral forces leave people without real hope (cf. Lk 4:18).

Our parish communities are measured by how they serve “the least of these” in our parish and beyond its boundaries-the hungry, the homeless, the sick, those in prison, the stranger (cf. Mt 25:31). Our local families of faith are called to “hunger and thirst for justice” and to be “peacemakers” in our own communities (c£ Mt 5:6,9). A parish cannot really proclaim the gospel if its message is not reflected in its own community life. The biblical call to charity, justice, and peace claims not only each believer, but also each community where believers gather for worship, formation, and pastoral care. (USCCB, Communities of Light and Salt)

“Crazy Facts:”

Bread for the world reports the following at http://www.bread.org/hunger/

In 2005, the latest year for which data are available, 1.4 billion people in developing countries lived in extreme poverty—on less than $1.25 a day—down from 1.9 billion in 1981.

In the United States, 14.6 percent of households struggle to put food on the table. Nearly one in four children is at risk of hunger. 9 http://www.educationforjustice.org/resources/fifth-sunday-ordinary-time-february-6-2011)

Amid the pretentious luxury and opulent display of Super Bowl Sunday rank individualism and gross consumerism rule the day—thousands of dollars for game tickets, competition from Madison Avenue for the best ad to sell the most product.


Thomas Merton wrote that it is the duty of every Christian to work for the end of war. And it is.

  • It is also the duty of every Christian to work for peace and justice.
  • It is the duty of every Christian to work for the elimination of poverty.
  • It is the duty of every Christian to work for the elimination of exploitation and oppression.
  • It is the duty of every Christian to make sure that every human being has life and everything he/she needs (Jn 10:10)
  • It is the duty of every Christian to be light and salt.

It is time for us, our Church leaders and our Christian communities to disturb the comfortable so they can comfort the disturbed.

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