If you feel like the struggle for freedom and human rights just goes on and on, you aren’t alone.  Even Coretta Scott King has commented on it.  When I was in college we worked to project Native American lands from big coal.  Now the struggle is against big oil and those who want to use these lands as dumping grounds.

The poor will always be with us.  Those are Christ’s words.

Sadly, many use this phrase to excuse ignoring the needs of the poor.  “Oh, well. There are always going to be poor people.” Why help if they are always going to be there?

This has never felt right to me.  Christ saw those others chose to ignore. He listened.  He healed.

Today I saw an interesting interpretation of Christ’s comment in this post.  Jesus was quoting another passage of our Bible that is also part of the Torah.  This means that the passage would have been well-known to his followers.  Here is the full text from Deuteronomy 15, verse 11.  “For the poor will never cease out of the land; therefore I command you, You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in the land.”  When Christ’s followers heard the phrase “the poor will always be with us,” they would have known the rest.  “You shall open your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor.”

The struggle is ongoing.  There will always be a need.  And we have been called to open our hands today and tomorrow.  Amen.