Today's first reading, Daniel 9: 4b-10, presents the following prayer: Lord, great and awesome God, you who keep your merciful covenant toward those who love you and observe your commandments! We have sinned, been wicked and done evil; we have rebelled and departed from our commandments and laws. We have not obeyed your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, your [ancestors], and all the people of the land. Justice, O Lord, is on your side; we are shamefaced even to this day: we, the men [and women] of Judah [of the U.S.A.], the residents of Jerusalem [citizens of the U.S.A.] ...."
Without knowing it, perhaps, we are sinning by our choice to build walls between ourselves and other nations, by deporting undocumented immigrants, separating children from their parents, by increasing the wealth of the wealthy at the expense of the poor, possibly denying 10s of millions of people health insurance, by perpetuating lies in efforts to hide our own sinful behaviors, by pushing forth our own promises to assumedly win accolades for keeping our promises when those violate the rights of others.
Daniel goes on to say in later verses of today's first reading: O Lord, we are shamefaced, like our kings, our princes, and our [ancestors], for having sinned against you! But yours, O Lord, our God, are compassion and forgiveness! Yet we have rebelled against you and paid no heed to your command, O Lord, our God, to live the law you gave us through your servants the prophets.
Those laws still hold today! The lack of compassion on the part of those governing this nation and those who support their executive orders and legislation is a disgrace. Have mercy on us and on them, Lord, for "they know not what they are doing" (Jesus' words from the cross)!