God minces no words. The leaders of Israel will be punished for trampling on the weak and the just. As they have crushed the needy, so now they face ruin.
Amos calls these crimes. Our words are softer. Predatory loans or long-term unemployment are problems discussed in polite tones. “What a mess” gets said of immigration policy while chewing the hamburgers that undocumented workers have made. The wars continue, but we have switched channels. We create systems like labyrinths that few understand where no one seems to be responsible for all that is lost. The urgency of people struggling to hang on goes mute. Without a fiery defender, those in greatest need disappear from the screen. Secure in our helplessness, we sit and sigh.
Like the prophet, Jesus sounds a thunderous wake-up call. His words are not balanced or discreet. No time remains to dally or debate. On the move in faith we enter the battle for the living. How we answer this call must arise from each one’s heart. But this is for sure: God wants us as combatants in the struggle to renew the world. There are no excuses or hiding places that can rescind this call.
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