ISSL Reflections January 30 2022 Deuteronomy 24:10–21 Post 3

We notice people who are our neighbors, people who are poor, people who are poor and needy laborers, people who are aliens, people who are orphans, and people who are widows. Where do you find yourself in this passage?

Deuteronomy 24:10-21 (New Revised Standard Version)

When you make your neighbor a loan of any kind, you shall not go into the house to take the pledge. You shall wait outside, while the person to whom you are making the loan brings the pledge out to you. If the person is poor, you shall not sleep in the garment given you as the pledge. You shall give the pledge back by sunset, so that your neighbor may sleep in the cloak and bless you; and it will be to your credit before the Lord your God.

You shall not withhold the wages of poor and needy laborers, whether other Israelites or aliens who reside in your land in one of your towns. You shall pay them their wages daily before sunset, because they are poor and their livelihood depends on them; otherwise they might cry to the Lord against you, and you would incur guilt.

Parents shall not be put to death for their children, nor shall children be put to death for their parents; only for their own crimes may persons be put to death.

You shall not deprive a resident alien or an orphan of justice; you shall not take a widow’s garment in pledge. Remember that you were a slave in Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you from there; therefore I command you to do this.

When you reap your harvest in your field and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be left for the alien, the orphan, and the widow, so that the Lord your God may bless you in all your undertakings. When you beat your olive trees, do not strip what is left; it shall be for the alien, the orphan, and the widow.

When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, do not glean what is left; it shall be for the alien, the orphan, and the widow.

In my above naming of the people we notice in this passage, I think I only called attention to one side of those named.

Now that I reread the passage I see others –

One one who lends – one one who takes a pledge for a loan – the one who employees others – one one who can impose penalties on others – one one who can give or withhold justice – one one who has a harvest to reap and gather and even regather – one one who can deprive others of a harvest or gleaning the leftovers of the fields …

Where do I find myself named in these words? Do you see yourself here? Maybe on both “sides”? Those able to give justice and those needing the hand of justice extended to them?

{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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