January 31

Isaiah 58:6-9a

“Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your  house?” vss. 6-7a

In the last couple of weeks authorities have been conducting homeless counts. Volunteers scatter across the Valley and seek out the people living in the streets, parks, river beds, and alleys. Initial reports indicate that the numbers are increasing. Too many people, for one reason or another, can’t find affordable housing. Imagine Isaiah being asked to write a guest editorial in the Arizona Republic on the problem. What would he say? It’s not hard to figure out. “Share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house.” Could that be a solution to the problem? Of course! There is plenty of room in our big empty houses to take in the street people. Would we be willing to do that? Of course not! It would be too scary for most of us. These people are addicts, mentally unstable, dirty, and dangerous–or so we believe. In reality every one of them is a beloved child of God with a sad, sad story, and rather than help them, we’d rather they just went away. It is true that there would be many difficulties with Isaiah’s solution–but there are ways of getting the homeless into adequate housing, and it’s our responsibility as their brothers and sisters to make it happen!

Thought for the Day: What are some myths about homelessness?

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