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by Susan Russell

As we pass the midway point in the 40 Day Lenten Journey to Easter, I recall some of the words that launched our trek on Ash Wednesday: Is not this the fast I choose: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?

Based on watching the nightly news and listening to the election cycle discourse they are words that seem to fall on very deaf ears. And so it was through that lens that I read this paraphrase of Matthew 25:41-46 which was making the rounds on Facebook recently:

When I was hungry,
you cut my food stamps.
When I was thirsty,
you allowed my water to be polluted for corporate profit.
When I was a stranger
you detained and deported me.
When I was naked and vulnerable, without a job or income,
you denied me extended unemployment compensation, holding it hostage to a political agenda.
When I was ill,
you refused to extend Medicaid.
When in prison,
you denied me justice in favor of revenge and executed me.

The answer to us — as individuals and as a nation — is the same today as it was when Jesus told that parable to his disciples over two thousand years ago: Inasmuch as you have done it unto the least of these, you have done it unto me.