On that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: We have a strong city; he sets up victory like walls and bulwarks. Open the gates, so that the righteous nation that keeps faith may enter in. Those of steadfast mind you keep in peace— in peace because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for in the Lord God you have an everlasting rock.
For he has brought low the inhabitants of the height; the lofty city he lays low. He lays it low to the ground, casts it to the dust. The foot tramples it, the feet of the poor, the steps of the needy.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
When I read Isaiah’s words—“We have a strong a city”—I picture in my mind the streets I walk each day on my daily commute from Baltimore to Washington, DC.
Isaiah speaks of justice, faith, and the promotion of peace. It’s easy for me to scoff: Baltimore and DC have speckled records where these virtues are concerned.
But Isaiah’s words don’t stop there. Indeed, I’m reminded that cities—communities—are made up of individuals. People like me. It’s my responsibility to strive for these virtues—as an individual member of a community.
Isaiah goes on. Those in high places are brought low; those who ignore or exploit the vulnerable are brought to justice. And certainly, I pass opportunities each day on that daily commute to engage in small acts of justice, charity, love.
Do we contribute to a strong city of God’s justice, or a lofty city of wealth, pleasure and pride?
—Eric Clayton is a senior communications manager at the Jesuit Conference.
Grant us, Lord God, a vision of your world as your love would have it:
a world where the weak are protected, and none go hungry or poor;
a world where the riches of creation are shared, and everyone can enjoy them;
a world where different races and cultures live in harmony and mutual respect;
a world where peace is built with justice, and justice is guided by love.
Give us the inspiration and courage to build it, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
—Author unknown, published on Xavier University’s Jesuit ResourcePlease share the Good Word with your friends!