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If Not You, Who?

My being proclaims the greatness of the Lord...He has deposed the mighty from their thrones and raised the lowly to high places
Revelation 11:19,12:1-6,10; Psalm 45:10-12,16; I Corinthians 15:20-27; Luke 1:39-56

Sermon Week The Assumption of the Virgin Mary Cycle B

Scripture Summary Luke 1:46,52-53

Several years ago, "Time" magazine ran a cover story entitled "Modern Saints." And there were several impressive things about the persons described in the article. The most obvious, of course, was the intensity of their love of God. Secondly, they were compassionate in their relationships, sensitive toward other people's needs and concerns. Thirdly, most of them shared a deep, prophetic concern about social injustice. They were eager to speak out for those who were being exploited by Systems and Institutions, whether they be political, economic, or religious. That aspect of the story was a gratifying symbol of one of the great things that has happened to the Church in our lifetime.

In order to appreciate this fully, we must go back for a moment and realize how deep the roots of the prophetic tradition are in Scripture. Moses, for example -- the one around whom the entire Old Testament story is built -- was essentially a liberator. The Hebrews were being exploited under the political and economic system of the Egyptians, and Moses protested -- so violently, in fact, that he killed an Egyptian. He became a fugitive from justice and while he was out in the wilderness God spoke to him through the vision of the "burning bush." God told him to go to Egypt and to tell the Pharaoh to "Let My People Go!" As the result of that experience, Moses became the great liberator of the Hebrews, leading them into a new life and forming them as a People. In the Moses tradition, other great prophets came along -- Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea, Micah, Ezekiel, and others -- to speak the Word of the Lord, to condemn injustice, to stand with those who were being hurt.

The word of God comes to the People through the prophet:

I hate, I spurn your feasts ...
Away with your noisy songs!
I will not listen to the melodies of
your harps.
But if you offer Me holocausts,
then let justice surge like water,
and goodness like an unfailing stream (Am.5:21,23 -- 24).

These words were spoken for God by Amos, [...]


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