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Kill the Prophets!

Friday, March 13

Lenten meditations on justice and peace

Readings: Genesis 37:3-4, 12-13, 17-28; Matthew 21:33-34, 45-46

Slavery is a dark blot that stains the history of many societies and cultures. Today we read of Joseph, who in the calamity of being sold into slavery by his own brothers, echoes the fate of all too many people throughout human history. What we decry in history, however, remains a deadly reality -- in the Sudan, African Christians of a different ethnic group from the governing Islamic majority are targets of violence and exploitation for slavery -- in southeast Asia, children are sold to supply the popular sex tourism trade -- wherever there are desparate people in the third and fourth worlds, unscrupulous first world transnational corporations pay substandard wages and use violence and threats of intimidation as management tools.

Nor have we improved much on our treatment of prophets who are among us today. Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador was murdered while saying Mass, the Precious Blood of Christ mingling with the blood flowing from his wounds. Fr. Stanley Rother of Oklahoma was murdered in Guatemala. Seven Adorers of the Blood of Christ witnessed of their Faith with their own lives in Liberia.

Many of the rich hated Jesus, but the "crowds" -- that is, the poor -- loved him. The discernment of the Church of the Poor is important. We ignore it to our own spiritual peril.

Prayer intentions today:

+ For all the prophets of justice and peace, that they will be strengthened and confirmed through the prayers of many, we pray to the Lord.

+ For all people, that we will have eyes to see, and ears to hear, the prophets who are among us today.

Praxis today:

+ Make today a day of fasting and abstinence. Give money that you saved by eating small and simple meals to the poor or programs which are in service to and solidarity with the poor.

+ Pick up some trash in a public place and dispose of it properly.

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