“The greatest among you must be your servant.
Anyone who exalts himself will be humbled,
and anyone who humbles himself will be exalted.”
(Matthew 23: 11-12, The Jerusalem Bible)

Biegun Wschodni

Four, sometimes five, days a week,
when I return home at 2:00 p.m.
from volunteering at City Light
Community Ministries, Lucy,
our red-merle Australian shepherd dog
and I sit in front of the T. V., sharing
a meal of organic blue corn chips,
supremely spicy hummus,
marinated Sicilian green and black olives,
purple grapes (for me, not Lucy),
and sometimes slices of mango.

It’s our ritual, our act of hope
that this day, love, not hate,
will be sown across the airwaves.
We are waiting for the voice of the
Old Testament shepherd-prophet
Amos, the word of God that came to Amos:
“Let justice flow like water, and integrity
like an unfailing stream.”

Amos’s Testimony

“I was no prophet,
nor the son of a prophet;
neither did I belong
to the brotherhoods
of prophets.
I was a herdsman,
a shepherd.
I looked after sycamores.
It was God who took me
from herding the flock,
God who said to me,
‘Go, prophesy to my people.'”

Amos, like the prophet Hosea before him,
proclaims God desires love for all people,
especially “the humble of the earth”:
the poor, the displaced, despised, cast out,
especially the children, the little ones
to whom Jesus, the Messiah, is sent–
those like himself, humble and gentle.

When reprimanded by religious leaders
for eating with tax collectors and sinners–
those whose moral conduct or
disreputable profession rendered them
“unclean” and socially outcast, Jesus replied,
“It is not the healthy who need the doctor,
but the sick. Go and learn the meaning
of the words: “What I want is mercy . . . , ”
the inward quality of genuine compassion.

Zac Durant

Jesus declared himself “gentle and humble in heart”
and called to all “who labour and are overburdened”
to metaphorically shoulder Jesus’s yoke, bearing the
light weight of gentleness and humility, love of God
and neighbor, laying down the heavy load of legalistic
pious posturing. Jesus said the “mysteries
of his kingdom” are hidden from the “wise”:
“Many who are first, will be last, and the last, first.”

“Blessed, happy,” Jesus said, “are the poor in spirit;
theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Theirs is a spiritual
childhood, making themselves as little as this little child,
greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Biblical Passages Cited From The Jerusalem Bible, Doubleday & Company, 1966:

Amos 5: 24
Amos 7: 14-16, and footnotes: j & k
Hosea 6: 6
Zephaniah 2: 3, and footnote: e
Matthew 9: 10-13, and footnotes: e & f
Matthew 11: 28-30
Matthew 12: 1-14, and footnotes: a, b, & c
Matthew 19: 30
Matthew 5: 3, and footnote: c
Matthew 18: 1-4

Patrick Schneider