We Hear the Prophets
BY ALEX MIKULICH | September 30, 2019
Today’s readings illuminate intimate connections between salvation and social justice that co-members of the Mystical Body of Christ are called to co-sense and co-create here and now.
Praising our Lord who “sets captives free,” the responsorial psalm reminds us that Jesus begins his public ministry by announcing liberation (LK 4:18). We are called to share in that ministry of intimate belonging and overflowing love.
Yet, the readings also focus a harsh spotlight on how the community of faith loses its way so much that we become the system of domination and injustice ourselves.
“Woe to the complacent in Zion” warns the prophet Amos (AM 6:1) as the people recline on “beds of ivory,” and fill themselves with the best food while “improvising to the music of the harp,” drinking wine, and massaging themselves with the “best oils.” The prophet’s timeless description of the lives of the affluent looks and sounds eerily familiar.
Amos is not only concerned with a community that has become too secure in its own riches; he is more deeply concerned that “they are not made ill by the collapse of Joseph,” (AM 6:6) that is, they have forgotten their communal, covenantal purpose. If we fail to live God’s love and justice, we “shall be the first to go into exile!” Not an inappropriate reversal of fortune for a nation that persecutes migrants in our midst.
At the heart of Luke’s Gospel is the call to feel and enact God’s compassion (Luke 6:36). Luke 16:19-31 underscores the demand for people of faith to bodily sense people like “Lazurus, covered with sores,” eating scraps from the floor. Only the dog conveys God’s tenderness!
Today’s Gospel calls us together, as the Mystical Body of Christ, to co-sense the plight of migrant families and children, the cry of First Peoples for climate justice, the loss of life to gun violence, and the call for reparations from #BlackLivesMatter movement. We hear the prophets. We know our Lord has risen! Rise up! Set God’s people free!
Alex Mikulich is a Catholic social ethicist and racial equity consultant. He is co-author of The Scandal of White Complicity in U.S. Hyper-Incarceration: A Nonviolent Spirituality of White Resistance (Palgrave 2013 and 2015). He co-edited and contributed to Interrupting White Privilege: Catholic Theologians Break the Silence (Orbis 2007) which won the Theological Book of the Year from the College Theology Society.
Prophet – is blessed with a short life but long impact. Long live the prophets.
I have seen when you try to say anything people will either look at you like you are wrong or crazy.. Unless it affects them negatively and they not at fault. I have been told this and have seen this as well. Working in a soup kitchen I have seen the negative side of people and some times it comes out more on the server side. I was once told not to hug people because of what might happen. I also see people are afraid to talk to each other any more so they use other things. I have mine own fears since I cant always communicate with the current generation especially my own children or people in my church since I disagree with what they want and need. Climate change is a biggee. It does take people out of a comfort zone. We all have sins and faults and when they dont match with the ones around us it can cause an issue or a blessing depending on how they mesh. There is a voice in the wilderness . Dont put the headphones on!