Prayer on the Beatitudes from Luke

Then he looked up at his disciples and said:

“Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God.”

We will not share with you the realms of Earth.
When deep recessions come, recovery
Will favor first the wealthy, those whose greed
And recklessness wrought ruin. We will hold
You culpable for every crime, yet grant
Excuses infinite unto the rich.
We will not share with you the realms of Earth. 

“Blessed are you who are hungry now,
for you will be filled.”

We will not feed you when you hunger here.
Are you a child, are you a woman who
Expects a child? Expect instead a state
To cut the funds which keep your health, to trim
Support for food and shelter, to refrain
For years, for decades, from an increase to
The legal minimum a boss must pay.
We value work until the moment we
Must pay you: then, your labor counts for naught.
We will not feed you when you hunger here. 

“Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.”

We will not grant you justice when you mourn.
No, we will blame the fallen. We will say,
“He should not have been standing there, he should
Not have turned back, he should have just complied.
Then all would have been well with him.” Then we
Will cut state funding for interment of
The poor. And we will piously deny
That race had any role in this man’s death
And disregard the growing list of names
Of people with dark skin who rest now in
The arms of God. Then we will lecture those
Who march to raise the voice of justice. No,
We will not grant you justice when you mourn.

“Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.”

We will not honor prophets in the world.
We will not heed their holy cries to care
For neighbor, stranger, sojourner, the one
Who crossed the border secretly to seek
A better life for her and for her child,
The one whom we have covertly employed
Because we can pay her far less than those
Whom we impoverish by paying a
Minimum wage. We will repay her work
By calling for her deportation, we
Will call her “parasite,” though it is we
Who feast upon her labor in our fields,
Who wear the product of her skillful stitch,
Who see that she pays taxes we evade.
When others cry that she deserves a chance,
Then we will solemnly pronounce that she
Must demonstrate respect for rule of law
Before we grant her rights among us. Have
We truly eyes that cannot see those laws
Are ours? We created them to keep
Us in our comfort. Prophets testify
That we can change our law to welcome those
Already here among us: We can make
Them us. Yet firmly echoes the refrain:
We will not honor prophets in the world. 

Jesus said:

“But woe to you who are rich,
for you have received your consolation.
Woe to you who are full now,
for you will be hungry.
Woe to you who are laughing now,
for you will mourn and weep.
Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.”

O Holy One of justice and of grace,
Fulfill the words of Jesus. Overthrow
The world and its false worship of the gods
Of power, wealth, and comfort, though it means
That I, who benefit from privilege
I do not fully see or understand,
May hunger, weep, and bear the awful truth
Of justice. Overthrow the world. Amen. 

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