Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi, wrote:
"The great Jewish prophets, the forerunners of Jesus, coined a mantra which ran something like this: The quality of your faith will be judged by the quality of justice in the land and the quality of justice in the land will be judged by how "widows, orphans and strangers" (biblical code for the three most vulnerable groups in society) fared while you were alive.It's pretty obvious who the orphans and widows are in our culture. Who are the strangers? Just people we don't know, or perhaps people we find to be strange (viz., different than us)? Who are the most vulnerable groups in our society?
Jesus wouldn't disagree. When he describes the last judgment at the end of Matthew's Gospel, he tells us that this judgment will not be, first of all, about right doctrine, good theology, church attendance, or even personal piety and sexual morality, but about how we treated the poor. Nobody gets to heaven without a letter of reference from the poor. Jesus and the great biblical prophets make that clear."
Source: WCR, posted Feb 7/2011; retrieved jan 14/2012
Thanks to Laurier for pointing me to this quote from Fr. Rolheiser.