This article is a MUST READ from beginning to end, and comments are highly encouraged:
Each Saturday, my husband and I head to mass because we’re both hard wired to sleep in on Sundays. Well, sleep in until 7:30am at least. Recently, I began taking RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) to become officially Catholic. I say “officially” because I was raised in the Episcopal faith (Catholic faith minus the Pope and consequences to actions) and have been going to my church for five-ish years now- it’s time to be confirmed! I tell you all of this to introduce you to my current mindset. When taking classes of any kind, it is natural for anyone to desire sharing their newly learned information.
Today’s readings focused on social justice and caring for the people on the margins of society. Regardless of your religious preference, we can all agree that we should strive to care for those that are abused, impoverished and hopeless. After spirited debate, I wanted to share with you two things I learned:
Ezra Taft Benson noted that “The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature.”
I love this quote. It really touches on what is the focus of my husband’s current Micro-Financing Challenge (Micro-Financing is a fancy word for charitably donating money even if just $25 to give loans to small business owners to give them the ability to strengthen their suffering communities). I really want you to check it out!
People of need (most notably starving people) used to be called “anaweim.” The Book of Amos was written in 721 BC and in that time, one of the ways communities cared for their “anaweim” by “gleaming.” During the harvesting process (of wheat, for example) with the dull blades of their tools, many stalks of wheat would be bent over instead of cut cleanly, while others would be only partially cut down with leftover remaining. The tradition was that all farmers LEFT those broken and bent pieces behind for the anaweim. The theory is that God provided that crop for the farmer and it wasn’t the farmer’s to begin with, so with that in mind, gleaming shouldn’t be a difficult practice.
Which practice do you think YOU could most easily adapt to promote social justice- Micro-Financing or gleaming?