Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Way of the Cross-2008: Station Five

Poverty in America

I was fortunate enough to discover the 20th Annual Walk for Justice while I was in Springfield Illinois. The group was inter-denominational. The Stations were landmarks in downtown Springfield that could connect current events to Jesus today. I will review each station one at a time.

Station Five: Federal Building

Station Five: Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus

As we remember Simon of Cyrene, who was pressed into service to help Jesus carry his cross, we are reminded of our brothers and sisters who suffer the affects of poverty. The poor of our world carry the burdens imposed by the rich.

Here at the Federal Building we remember the short-comings of our governing bodies to take measures to alleviate poverty. The trends that are largely responsible for the rise in poverty over the past 25 years are a growing shortage of affordable rental housing and a simultaneous increase in medical expenses, unemployment, and underemployment….

Christian people when asked what Jesus said about poverty are most likely to voice the quote, “The poor you will always have with you,” in order to excuse their behavior toward the poor. We must never forget that Jesus promised eternal life to those who feed the hungry, give drink to the thirst, clothe the naked, care for those who are ill, welcome the stranger and visit the prisoner.

Those who live the covenant with God know that their nation will be judged by the way it treats the least among them. This is our calling: to carry the burden of those “least” among us.

Like Simon, give us strength to help our brothers and sisters in this journey of life. Let each of us always be attentive to the cries of the poor.

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