For some people, religion is a means of dividing people. The sinners from the saints. The worthy from the unworthy. The chosen from the unchosen.
But that was never Christ’s way. Christ inivited everyone – the poor as well as the rich, women as well as men, the young as well as the old, and those the world labeled sinners as well as those labeled good and rightous people. For Christ there was a place at the table for everyone.
That is a vision that requires something on our part. It requires not only that we extend Christ’s invitation to everyone, but that we help promote structures that allow everyone to take a place at Christ’s table.
There is a song our teen choir sings at Sunday evening Masses sometimes that speaks of Christ’s vision. The verses of the song paint a picture of “a new way to live,” proclaiming:
For everyone born, a place at the table
For everyone born, clean water and bread,
A shelter, a space, a save place for growing,
For everyone born, a star overhead.
For woman and man, a place at the table
Revising the roles, deciding the share,
With wiseom and grace, dividing the power,
For woman and man, a system that’s fair.
For young and for old, a placed at the table
A voice to be heard, a part in the song,
The hands of a child in hands that are wrinkled,
For young and for old, the right to belong.
For just and unjust, a place at the table,
Abuser, abused, with needs to forgive,
In anger, in hurt, a mindset of mercy,
For just and unjust, a new way to live.
The refrain reminds us that we have role in making this new way a reality, telling us that “God will delight when we are creators of justice….justice and joy.”