We live in economically and racially segregated communities that make it easy to be complacent about our poor neighbors, those who clean our office buildings, serve tables at our favorite restaurants, mow our lawns, keep our grocery stores stocked with food, and take care of the sick and elderly.
Complacency over the scourge of poverty can be seen in the priorities we set in our federal budgets. Money is lavished on weapon systems and nuclear weapons while money to make housing, food, education, and healthcare more affordable are treated as expensive extravagances.
Today, September 21, is the International Day of Peace, we ask your prayers to help make our federal budget reflect the priorities of caring for people.
Bread Not Stones Prayer, published by Pax Christi USA
God of Liberation from all our foreboding;
Our children ask for bread but are fed the poison of fear.
We put guns in their hands and tell them;
this is the way to safety, power, respect, and salvation.
We give lip service to your call to love without cost
and to show compassion without distinctions;
but we are quick to abandon your teachings
when we are told to fear and despise those who are not like us.
We have abandoned your promise of abundant life
in exchange for the promise of longevity through overwhelming firepower.
Give us the wisdom to embrace the things that make for peace.
Help us to understand that we live in a world of endless wonder
that needs to be cared for and treasured.
Help us to see that we live in a world of bounty
that belongs to the whole human family,
without excluding or favoring anyone;
from each, according to their ability.
and to each, according to their needs.
Help us understand that our security lies
in the strength of our solidarity with all
– even those who are marked as enemies.
Open our eyes, hearts, and minds to the truth
that we are only safe and secure when everyone is safe and secure;
that we will be at peace only when justice rolls on like a river,
protecting the dignity of every person and embracing every creature.
Show us how to give our children the bread they need. Amen.