“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me … ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’” (Matthew 25: 35, 40)
This familiar passage in the Gospel of Matthew is known in some biblical translations as “The Judgement of the Nations.”
Jesus’ teaching highlights that we will be judged as a nation by the way we care for the most vulnerable members of our community. The vulnerable today are the people struggling with hunger and poverty across the world. It also includes immigrants, refugees, and their families, fleeing from the horror of war, gang violence, extreme poverty, fragile governments, or the effects of climate change. All we have to do is read a newspaper or turn on the TV to witness the plight of these men, women, and children.
In the book of Esther, we find the story of an unlikely advocate, Queen Esther, who was persuaded to risk her own position of privilege to save her people from destruction (Esther 4). As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, we can do as Esther, and meet the challenges before us by speaking truth to power.
Esther’s uncle reminded her that she could not remain neutral. Action was needed, and she could use her position of influence to change the fate of her people. We cannot be silent in this challenging time. Today, we can advocate together, with an Offering of Letters, urging Congress to develop a federal budget that serves the common good and offers help and opportunity for all people—especially those struggling to put food on the table.
O Righteous God:
We ask that you open our ears to hear your Word, speaking through the voices of the prophets and apostles to care “the least of these.”
Set our hearts on fire with your Holy Spirit, so our advocacy sow seeds that might work to eliminate the scandal of hunger.
Open the eyes of our lawmakers that they may see the deepest needs of millions of children, women, and men who will suffer adversely if no provision is made for them.
Move Congress to enact laws for the common good, that will please you and create the sort of community that reflect the values of your kingdom. Amen.