Time to Speak — Walk the talk and be the voice of the poor

By Dominican Sister of Peace Judy Morris

Father/Mother God, thank you for your presence during the hard and mean days. …
For those who have no voice, we ask you to speak.
For those who feel unworthy, we ask you to pour your love out in waterfalls of tenderness.
For those who live in pain, we ask you to bathe them in the river of your healing. …

—  Maya Angelou

The eyes and ears of the world were on Pope Francis when he traveled to the poorest parts of Brazil. His message was consistent, clear, and direct. He blasted a “culture of selfishness and individualism” and called on leaders in Brazil and around the world to end hunger and poverty. He saw poverty and hunger up close and personal and seemed determined to be the loudspeaker for the poor.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates 870 million (one in eight) people suffered from chronic undernourishment between 2010-2012. The number of hungry in Africa grew from 175 million to 239 million — nearly one in four are hungry on that continent.

The pope lamented that the homeless person who dies in the cold is not news. He noted, “We cannot become starched Christians, too polite, who speak of theology calmly over tea. We have to become courageous Christians and seek out those who need help the most.”

Parishioners need to hear the just word preached, challenged to make the cause of the hungry and poor their cause. His words were directed to people in the pulpit, in the pews, those in power, to everyone. The Gospel cannot be watered down to make us comfortable.

We can preach on behalf of the poor with a call or letter to our representatives for strengthening the safety net: protecting food stamps, subsidized school lunch programs, as well as supporting international food aid. While senators and representatives are in our home districts in August, it would be a good time to ask what they intend to do for the hungry and poor when they return to Washington.

Dominic got the message when he sold his valuable books and gave the money to the poor. As his daughters and sons, we can continue that message.

See more at: https://www.oppeace.org/node/12750.

This article first appeared on the blog of Dominican Sister of Peace Judy Morris.

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