Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-10
“You shall not strip your vineyard bare, or gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the alien: I am the Lord your God.” vs. 10
The ancient Israelites, by virtue of their belief in the holiness of God, looked after the poor and the aliens in their midst. In fact, Leviticus 19:34 indicates that “the alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.” It’s not surprising then that the law code contains provisions for the nurturing and care of such persons. A part of every crop, grain from the edges of the fields and fallen grapes of the vineyard, was designated for the poor and the alien. In Israel’s estimation it was the right thing to do…it would be what the Lord wanted. It’s wonderful, now in our times, to see that concern for the poor and the resident aliens has, for the most part, been embedded in the laws of our land. There is within our hearts a desire to share our blessings with the needy and strangers. Of course there are always some who want to marginalize such persons further, and who are always working to cut their benefits. Some even promote laws that would strip the rights of aliens altogether. People of faith will uniformly reject such selfish thinking and look for even more ways to support the alienated and provide relief for the poor. It’s not just a good idea…it’s a reflection of God’s holy intentions.
Thought for the Day: Who are the aliens among us?