According to Rabbi Abraham J. Heschel, the Hebrew Scriptures express a "breathless impatience with injustice." In a world in which the suffering poor are left grubbing among stones for sufficient food to eat, the Hebrew - Christian - Islamic Scriptures are a consistent protest against exploitation, oppression, and injustice -- particularly, economic injustice. The Love of the Holy One would turn every stone into the Bread of Justice... and make Mercy flow as rivers about all the Earth... if not for the Greed of small-minded men and the institutions they serve.
The Prophet Isaiah asks on behalf of the Holy One, "What do you mean by crushing my people, by grinding the face of the poor?" Isaiah 3: 15) Perhaps speaking to Republicans who cut the already meager allotment of food stamps for hungry children, Isaiah said that punishment would come to those "who keep writing oppression, to turn aside the needy from justice and to rob the poor of my people of their right." (Isaiah 10: 1-2) The Prophet Amos declares that the Name of the Holy is profaned when people "trample the head of the poor into the dust of the earth, and turn aside the way of the afflicted." (Amos 2: 7) Later, the Spirit of Wild Love called to Yeshua "to set at liberty those who are oppressed." (Luke 4:18) Matthew's Gospel depicts a fantastical scene of final judgment -- in which the entire history of nations comes before the Lord of Time and Space: this same Lord is identified as having waited in the hungry, naked, sick, and imprisoned for justice: for both policies and practices that would ensure their full development and liberation. (Matthew 25: 31 - 46) When we pray for "our daily bread" we are not praying for a slice of Luigi's Pizza! We are, instead, praying for the courage and grace to pursue justice in all of our affairs and to become agents of social transformation that every life might experience the fullness of her divinely given possibilities...
When we consider the full dimension of modern economics upon every aspect of our lives and every culture anywhere in the world, we inevitably witness the actual embodiment of Yeshua's Passion. "I was hungry and you fed me -- or you blamed the poor for their poverty instead of the rich for their greed." Across the centuries, one can still hear the rage of Yeshua: "The pox on you who are rich, you've received all the blessing you'll ever get! The pox on you who are full now, you'll find out what real hunger is! The pox on you who laugh now, as you blame and scheme against the poor, workers, and those who teach your children, you'll be soon enough crying in your caviar! But beautiful are you who are poor, I will welcome you home! Beautiful are you who are hungry and oppressed in any way, my home was constructed especially for you! And so beautiful are you who are crying and suffering now, especially you who are organizing for justice and building for peace, you will see my home encompass all the earth with overflowing goodness and blessings!" (Luke 6: 20 - 26) With St. Gregory of Nyssa, the modern mystic-activist proclaims "All things belong to the Holy who is our Source and the Source of all things. We are all of the same family: all of us are sisters and brothers. And among family it is best and most equal that all inherit equal portions."
The "Come, follow me" of Yeshua the Poet is the secret song of the soul: whether one be Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Taoist, Gnostic, Agnostic, Atheist, or Pagan: for this is not the call of a small-minded religionist and god-intoxicated ego that would have every knee bend in submission: but the Liberation Theology of Planetary rEvolution! "Come, follow me" means complete transformation -- personal and social -- from self-identification as isolated and fragile egos, to the full radiance of the divine beings of the Divine Intention! "Follow me: into true adoration and surrender: practice justice in every detail of your life! Love everyone different from you: especially those marginalized in any way, the immigrant, the prisoner, the LGBT, and the chubby white man afraid of the world outside his door: Love every religion different from yours like different fingers on the Hand of the Holy: Love your enemies by making them your friends -- stand for justice and equality for every people -- insist upon peace as the most viable weapon of war! Insist upon an absolute equality between women and men: know that in liberating women into the fullness of their possibilities you will see the most incredible and rapid change for the good and holy this world has ever seen! Insist upon a new world of as little difference as possible between those at the 'top' and those at the 'bottom' -- this 'as little difference as possible' will be the fuel for a vivification of human consciousness: then you will see universes of possibilities and wonders you cannot now even begin to imagine! But I can! So come, follow me!"
To adore the Holy One and to bend one's knees in submission is in fact the grunt work of the union organizer. To adore the Holy One and to bend one's knees in submission is the raised fist and march of the women of the world for full equality and justice NOW! To adore the Holy One and to bend one's knees in submission is the radical insistence that this precious blue Planet is our Home and worthy of reverence and protection. To adore the Holy One and to bend one's knees in submission is to rise off the floor of cowardice and vapid visions to join the march for Kindness, Oneness, Compassion, Mercy, and Beauty as the Flag of a New Humanity that will finally be worthy of its children. "Come, my friends, tis not too late to seek a newer world." (Alfred, Lord Tennyson)
Robert Daniel Smith was privileged to serve the homeless and marginalized for 30 years in Salinas, California. Together with his wife, Michelle, they founded an intentional community called the 'Companions of the Way', also in Salinas. Robert and Michelle are community organizers, Catholic Worker renegades, sacred activists, writers, poets, artists, Divine Mother devotees, and practitioners of Kriya Yoga as taught by Rev. Ellen Grace O'Brian of the Center for Spiritual Enlightenment. Michelle is also a Montessori public school teacher. Robert is also an ordained Interfaith Minister.