Monday, January 31, 2011

Egypt In Crisis

As I watched the crisis in Egypt unfold on television, I kept hearing that one of the things that triggered this "revolution" is rising food prices. Apparently 40% of Egyptians live in poverty. That's enough to cause a revolution. Egyptians who were being interviewed by journalists stated that they wanted a better life for themselves, but most especially for their children. Who can blame them? What's happening in many countries in the modern world is going to have repercussions, the middle-class is struggling and the world is becoming a two class society-the rich and the poor. People want jobs and they want hopeful futures for their families. It's one reason, a big reason, the Egyptians are protesting, they want change, they want a hopeful future. They are tired of empty promises, they want the truth and they want real, constructive change.
I was reading the Sunday Scriptures this morning, in preparation for a discussion that I will lead this evening with a small group. The great Hebrew prophet Isaiah says it with conviction, "Share your bread with the hungry, shelter the oppressed and the homeless; clothe the naked, do not turn your back on your own........if you bestow your bread on the hungry and satisfy the afflicted then light shall rise for you in the darkness...."(Is. 58).
Very timely reading, considering what's going on in the world right now. The Church has always been on the side of the oppressed. Catholic social teaching upholds a preferential option for the poor. The means that all Christians (all believers should agree) should work to alleviate poverty and oppression. The needs and the concerns of the poor should have a high priority, so that there will be justice in the world. We should all be working and striving to bring forth God's reign and justice is a great part of that work. It's a great challenge and the gospel challenges us over and over again, to get it right and to be a light in the world for others.
To be a light we have to do our part. I'm looking forward to discussing the Scriptures this evening. I like to engage in conversation with like-minded people who are interested in what the Bible teaches. I hope it doesn't snow until after I arrive home. I feel like I've moved to Alaska. What a winter in the Northeast!