The Least among Us and the Fiscal Cliff

Politicians kowtow to pressure groups, wealthy patrons, and lobbyists when they try to protect the high and mighty on the backs of the least among us. Would that they would give such deferential reverence to the words of Isaiah, Mary of Nazareth and Jesus:

Trust in the LORD forever!

For the LORD is an eternal Rock.

He humbles those in high places,

and the lofty city he brings down;

He tumbles it to the ground,

levels it with the dust.

It is trampled underfoot by the needy,

by the footsteps of the poor. (Isaiah)

During the Advent season we also realize that these words foreshadow the strong words of Jesus’ first teacher-Mary of Nazareth:

And Mary said:

“My soul glorifies the Lord

and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

for he has been mindful

    of the humble state of his servant.

From now on all generations will call me blessed,

for the Mighty One has done great things for me—

    holy is his name.

His mercy extends to those who fear him,

    from generation to generation.

He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;

    he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.

He has brought down rulers from their thrones

    but has lifted up the humble.

He has filled the hungry with good things

    but has sent the rich away empty.

He has helped his servant Israel,

    remembering to be merciful

to Abraham and his descendants forever,

    just as he promised our ancestors.”

In the judgment scene in Mt. 25, Jesus makes his message perfectly clear:

 “Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. I was a stranger (immigrant), and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’ “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you? ’“And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’ “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.”

What is it that politicians, many of whom claim to be Judeo-Christians, do not understand about the biblical mandate to care for the least among us? We can describe the least as dependent; however, we fail to recognize the socio-political structures which make them dependent through no fault of their own. We need to see that these inequitable structures fall to the ground.

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