Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What Would Jesus Cut?

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me,


naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.'


Then the righteous will answer him and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?


When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?


When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?'


And the king will say to them in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.' - Mathew 25: 35-40

"A just framework for future budgets cannot rely on disproportionate cuts in essential 
services to poor persons. It requires shared sacrifice by all, including raising adequate 
revenues, eliminating unnecessary military and other spending, and addressing the longterm costs of health insurance and retirement programs fairly."

"We fear the human and social costs of substantial cuts to programs that serve families working to 
escape poverty, especially food and nutrition, child development and education, and affordable 
- Excerpts from the letter to the House of Representatives from the USCCB - dated 26 July 2011

This question is being asked by Christians today as we struggle to reconcile our nation's financial dilemma.

There are several parables that can be used to create a good outcome for the people of this nation. Two come to mind directly, the first is the parable of Lazarus and the rich man and the second, the parable of the Good Samaritan.

The Good Samaritan saw a fellow person suffering and came to his aid without asking questions. He saw the suffering and was moved to pity; caring for this person and ensuring that he was made whole again without counting the cost. He loved his fellow man as God loves each of us - completely.
Lazarus spent a life in misery in the shadow of wealth and privilege; feeding off the tables scrapes discarded and left by the dogs. At time of judgement, the rich man's life was examined for his deeds of love, compassion, generosity and care for the least and was found wanting.
These two parables, for me, show that we are called to respond in love to the needs of the least of our brothers and sisters in Christ.  We are called to lift them up, restore their health, their dignity, their respect and their life.  We are to love them as we wish to be loved, as God loves each of us.

Jesus came to bring salvation to His people. Jesus healed the sick, made the lame walk, the blind see and raised the dead to life.  He didn't ask for payment or judge the social position of those in need.  He saw the suffering of God's children, a brother or sister in need and returned them to wholeness, to life.

What do you think Jesus would cut?

Deacon Don Ron

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