Five Minutes on Friday #60


“In the land of the spirit, you cannot walk by the light of someone else’s lamp.  You want to borrow mine?  I’d rather teach you how to make your own.”      [Anthony de Mello]

Fritz Eichenberg was a German-born artist who came to New York City and fell under the influence of Dorothy Day and her work with the downtrodden of New York.  Two images, originally printed in Day’s CATHOLIC WORKER newspaper show the commitment of Day and her co-workers to works of mercy and how Christ comes to us disguised in the needs of our neighbours.  What we do for the poor directly we do for him.

Note that in the two pictures the figure of Christ is prominent, both in the breadline, and as a man huddled against the cold with two others.

Eichenberg often repeated a favorite line of Day’s from Dostoyesky:  ‘The world will be saved by beauty.’  His art reflected his deep compassion and respect for the sanctity of all life.   He died in 1990, aged 89, from Parkinson’s.


BEATITUDES – Matthew 5.6

‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.’

Wonderful news for people who hunger and thirst for God’s justice!  You’re going to be satisfied.

The spirit of the age blesses the privilege-protectors—
But Jesus blesses the justice-seekers.      [Brian Zahnd]

This beatitude is a vivid way of describing the ardent desire and the urgency which kingdom citizens feel for justice.  Justice is about right social relationships between God and humanity, among humans, and with the created world.  Justice here is practically synonymous with peace and well-being.  This is justice that rescues the oppressed and restorative justice that brings healing to a community. The blessings of the kingdom are not limited to bread although they certainly include it. 

‘I believe the long arc of the universe bends toward [God’s] justice.’   (Martin Luther King).

Jesus told a memorable parable about hungering and thirsting for justice (Luke 16.19-31).