Justice, not charity
Look, whatever thoughts you have about God, who He is or if He exists, most will agree that if there is a God, He has a special place for the poor. In fact, the poor are where God lives.He went on to say later in the sermon
Check Judaism. Check Islam. Check pretty much anyone.
I mean, God may well be with us in our mansions on the hill. I hope so. He may well be with us as in all manner of controversial stuff. Maybe, maybe not. But the one thing we can all agree, all faiths and ideologies, is that God is with the vulnerable and poor.
God is in the slums, in the cardboard boxes where the poor play house. God is in the silence of a mother who has infected her child with a virus that will end both their lives. God is in the cries heard under the rubble of war. God is in the debris of wasted opportunity and lives, and God is with us if we are with them. "If you remove the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness, and if you give yourself to the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then your light will rise in darkness and your gloom with become like midday and the Lord will continually guide you and satisfy your desire in scorched places."
A number of years ago, I met a wise man who changed my life. In countless ways, large and small, I was always seeking the Lord's blessing. I was saying, you know, "I have a new song, look after it." "I have a family, please look after them." "I have this crazy idea..."He went on to put in a plug for the Millennium Development Goals supported by Episcopal Relief and Development and recently reaffirmed by the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia.
And this wise man said: stop. He said, stop asking God to bless what you're doing. Get involved in what God is doing - because it's already blessed. Well, God, as I said, is with the poor. That, I believe, is what God is doing. And that is what he's calling us to do.
The full text of Bono's talk is online here.