“The edifice that produces beggars needs restructuring”Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
On this day of remembrance I find myself listening to speeches given years ago and find them relevant for today. Go to the YouTube video for two of them HERE. I suggest you join me in hearing Dr. King’s words again.
His words bring me to reflection on the Magnificat of Mary found in Luke’s Gospel, ch. 1: 46-55. This song of Mary recounts the promises of Hebrew scriptures for the nations. It is a promise for the Beloved Community of God that is coming to earth.
In God’s kingdom, which is coming to earth, the proud, the rich, the privileged are brought down and the poor are lifted up until all people are standing side by side, equal in dignity and respect. No one with too much, and no one with too little. It is not that the rich, the powerful, the privileged are reduced to poverty, but that they let go of that need to be so much above others and instead cooperate to pull others up to stand alongside them.
There is no special blessing in being poor and no one is called to be poor by God. God has prepared an earth that supplies abundance for all God’s creatures. We have this inequality of distribution because there are those who grab and hoard resources for themselves, much more than they need, for the sole reason of having more than others. They are stealing from the poor what God has meant to be shared by all creatures. This is sin.
There is no special blessing in being rich and no one is called to be rich by God. We are expected to care for one another, to make sure that all creatures have enough out of the abundance that God supplies. God cares deeply about how we treat one another.
Listen again to the song Canticle of the Turning to get a taste of the Magnificat. Imagine that the edifices that produce beggars can be torn down and replaced by the Beloved Community of God.