What is striking in these two texts is that the emphasis is all but abstract: God will provide bread and water, in other words, essential necessities of life. Today we would say that God enforces basic human rights, which are unalienable, not depending on socioeconomic status, or said differently, if someone has the money to afford them!
Christ sent out his disciples to drive out unclean spirits and to cure every illness. Within the language of human rights, this would refer – among other items – also to the human right to health. Even though most of us would without doubt support this basic human right, the realities we live in make it evident that our society does not guarantee health as a human right. In our society health can be compared with a commodity that can be purchased by those who afford it. The rest has to put up with whatever is available to them in case of emergencies.
Christ is also adamant that we should not follow the profit motif when addressing basic human rights. His disciples are told “Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.”
We are his disciples. We are called to do our share in guaranteeing the welfare of others. We are called to selflessly serve others. We are invited during Advent to pray over these issues.
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