In my christian tradition we are entering the second week of Advent. It is a time when we read and reflect on a beautiful and revolutionary part of the first chapter of the Gospel of Luke found in the Christian Scriptures. The verses are known as The Magnificat and tell the story of a very pregnant, young, first century girl from rural Palestine journeying to visit her kinswoman, a very pregnant, old woman whose own pregnancy was a miracle. As the two women meet, the young woman says many things but these two phrases always strike me, the young woman, Mary, pregnant with Jesus, says "My soul magnifies The Divine... The Divine has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; The Divine has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty." I am again reminded of what the Liberation Theologians in my Christian Tradition call "God's preferential option for the poor" that, based on Jesus teachings as an adult, individuals and whole societies will be judged by how they cared for their most vulnerable members, that political policies and institutional systems must strive for economic equality and steer away from policies that simply consolidate the wealth of a society in the hands of a few. Blessings on all who hear and heed these first century calls from the poor young teenager who was the mother of Jesus. No Justice, No Peace. Peace = Justice
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