The Isaiah passage has a history of use in the social justice and peace movement within the Catholic Church. The liberation from oppression is poetically described as the smashing of yoke, pole, and rod. I’m going to risk a slightly different interpretation: the yoke is the way we allow ourselves to be bound to a white, capitalistic and narcissistic culture, the pole signifies all the burdens we carry because of our attachment, and the rod is the cultural compromises we make and the risk of moving toward a police state to keep us in line.

Indeed we live in Aland of gloom. Often I hear talk of the end of civilization if not the whole world. Our tribalization tricks us into a false security of thinking we can take care of ourselves, everyone else be damned. Psalm 27 this Sunday is a good antidote to all that foolish talk. Here is an opportunity to lift up the hearts of the congregation, and not contribute to their fears and gloom.

Alan Hartway

Theological Studies at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago IL; Master of Fine Arts, Poetics, at Naropa University, Boulder CO 1996; Master of Arts, Greek Classics, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 2012; Taught at Naropa University from 1999 through 2015; Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies from 2007-2015; Member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Kansas City Province since 1974; Pastor at Guardian Angel Catholic Church, Mead, CO, ministry from 2007-2020 Currently Retired

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