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“Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God.”
Tonight on the evening news one of the news anchors describing the 4th of July celebration said it was to remember those who died in war. I thought, and still do, that the 4th of July is a holiday to celebrate the “Declaration of Independence” from England. The newspaper today reprinted that famous document signed on July 4th, 1776. The famous line below, “We hold these Truths to be self-evident” particularly struck me.
Later in the day I was having an email ‘chat’, as the person called it, with a church member about the purpose of a church. I started to think about the message of the Gospel of Jesus that I studied last weekend in a scripture seminar. Just like with what the news reporter said about the purpose of the 4th I had a disagreement with this person on the purpose of the Church.
The words below from the Declaration of Independence came to my mind. I reread that part and decided to rewrite it as a Declaration of the Kingdom of God. Here are the two declarations.
Declaration of Independence
“We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable, Rights, that among them are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
Declaration of the Kingdom
We hold this truth of Jesus Christ to be self-evident, that all persons, poor and rich, black or white, male or female are equal in the Kingdom of God and have the unalienable right to share in the wealth of the Kingdom, everyone according to his or her needs.
Now some may say that my declaration of the Kingdom is a radical and revolutionary statement. I certainly hope so since I took it from the Gospel of Jesus and the Way of Jesus practiced in the early Church.
My friend said about a parish church: a “parish is “measured against three criteria: whether the parish has a vibrant Eucharistic celebration, whether the parish has vibrant ministry both within the parish community and beyond, and whether the parish is financially sustainable.” I say the concern of the parish church should be: justice and solidarity with the poor, outcast marginalized and rejected.
Thank God for the Declaration of Independence and Thank God for the Declaration of the Kingdom.