Jesus’ solidarity with “the least of these” plants him among the prophets. Jeremiah and Isaiah said the measure of a society is how it treats its least powerful. How would America measure up?
How do we treat those without adequate health care? How do we treat the elderly who can’t afford their medicine? How do we treat our poor neighboring countries? What are our priorities? Are they as George Herbert Walker Bush put it, to be a “kinder and gentler nation?” Do we send neighboring countries the food and medicine they need or do we send them fighter planes and guns? Our obligation to the poor and powerless has deep Biblical roots, echoing through the generations of prophets leading up to Jesus.
In the fullness of time, God entered the messiness of history. God entered into solidarity with the human family to show us the way. Jesus walked the dusty streets of Palestine in sandals. Jesus entered into solidarity with the poor and suffering. Authentic Christianity continues to enter into the fray of poverty and affliction. This is Christianity’s legacy—to show God’s love through service to “the least of these.”