“Woe to him who builds his house by unrighteousness, and his upper rooms by injustice; who makes his neighbors work for nothing, and does not give them their wages; who says, ‘I will build myself a spacious house with large upper rooms,’ and who cuts out windows for it, paneling it with cedar, and painting it with vermilion. Are you a king because you compete in cedar? Did not your father eat and drink and do justice and righteousness? Then it was well with him. He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well. Is not this to know me? says the LORD.”
Jeremiah 22, Thursday Lent Four, the Reading, the Daily Office Book, Year One
This is one of those passages which forces itself upon me, where I have to face the responsibilities of being in Christ, which are the responsibilities to which I must be committed in order to grow in God’s compassion. I have to be concerned with the unrighteousness and injustices of the world. I have to “judge the cause of the poor and needy” and make it "well", to the best of my ability, first in how I treat those around me and to do the best I can to compel my community and nation to do likewise. I must be an activist to the cause of justice, economic justice first, as economic injustice is the root of all injustice. I must tend to the needs of the poor, but I also must be vocal in advocacy of justice, I also must boycott those businesses which gather wealth at the expense of human needs and decency. This isn't easy, but I must minimize their profitability which comes at the expense of the food, shelter, health and well being stolen from the labor force, who truly make the wheels of commerce turn. There are times when even compassion has hard requirements, including those of my sense of desire and comfort, and of those of my nation.