The April issue of response features an article from Jubilee USA, an alliance of more than 75 U.S. organizations, 400 faith communities and 50 global partners working to build an economy that serves, protects and promotes participation of the most vulnerable by promoting poverty reduction and solutions to the international debt crisis. United Methodist Women and The United Methodist Church are part of this coalition (see Resolutions 4053 and 4054 in The Book of Resolutions of The United Methodist Church).
Recently Pope Francis declared a special jubilee year from December 2015 to November 2016. The Catholic Church celebrates “ordinary” jubilee every 25 years but a few times has celebrated “extraordinary” jubilees. Many have high hopes that this Year of Mercy really will be extraordinary. Jubilee USA was recently featured on NPR’s Marketplace talking about this jubilee year in the report “Pope pushes on with Vatican financial reforms.”
Leviticus 25 explains the biblical Year of Jubilee in which slaves are freed and debts are forgiven.
Jubilee USA’s article in April’s issue of response discusses the global harm of vulture funds which take advantage of developing countries and hurt the most vulnerable.
In Luke 4:18-19 Jesus states, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
What do you think about Pope Francis’s declaration? How is The United Methodist Church fulfilling its jubilee intentions? What role do all people of faith need to play in reforming global economic practices?
How can we release the captives and set the oppressed free? As followers of Christ, it’s our calling. Let’s figure it out.