“I, the Lord have called you to serve the cause of right. I have taken you by the hand and formed you. I have appointed you as covenant of the people and light of the nations, to open the eyes of the blind, to free captives from prison, and those who live in darkness from the dungeon.” [Is 42:6-7]
We have come up out of the desert and into the City. We know the awful days ahead, filled with foreboding and pain. We are also aware of the breaking open of the heavens in joyous jubilation which awaits us on Easter Sunday.
It is a time of deep holiness. All about seems sacred. We are quieter, we smile gently, laughter feels unseemly. We give attention to our daily chores; we do all with care. Our world is filled with the fragrance of the ointment that anointed our Lord.
We tread softly. We take seriously our appointment to serve the cause of right. Jesus tells us that the “poor you have with you always” and we feel that sadness of that statement. For we have done little to alleviate the plight of the poor over the centuries. We have not well served the cause of right.
Jesus assuredly did not mean that poverty was a normal state. He merely acknowledges that it was the state of his world in his time. Truly, most of the world lived in want. Given the earthly power of Rome, there was no way to attack that evil except in his admonition to take care of all in need, without reference to judgment as best as the community could. “For as you care for the least of these, you did it to me,” he reminded us. We cannot know who is worthy or not, we are to serve all without evaluating.
We serve this week, but our eyes see in the distance, and there we see the cross. That is our earthly goal, to ascend the cross, to die to ourselves, to live in Christ.