The prophet Amos colorfully articulates how abuse of power leads to oppression and unjust systems. People are bought and sold, and policy-making that should protect the common good instead oppresses those who dare to be righteous. Worse, those with power imagine that they deserve all the money and influence they have acquired. God reminds such abusers that they would have nothing at all were it not for God’s power and compassion.
In his Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius’ “Three Kinds of Humility” prayer helps us search our hearts for the humility to follow Jesus in loving others, even, if called upon, sacrificing our status and possessions for the sake of God’s kingdom. It’s impossible to oppress others when we see ourselves rightly—as loved by God and acting with God to express that love in the world.
How do I see myself? Can I give up power for love?
—Vinita Wright serves as Managing Editor, New Product Development, at Loyola Press, Chicago, IL.