Thursday, October 06, 2011

Arise The Sun Of Justice

October 6, 2011

Thursday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time

Then you will again see the distinction between the just and the wicked; Between the one who serves God, and the one who does not serve him. For lo, the day is coming, blazing like an oven, when all the proud and all evildoers will be stubble, And the day that is coming will set them on fire, leaving them neither root nor branch, says the LORD of hosts. But for you who fear my name, there will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays. Malachi 3:18-20a

"If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?" Luke 11:13


Lord, humble us so that we may better see your ways and not pursue the potentially wicked path to personal glory. Instead, guide us on the right path to your glory. Amen.


Today's readings give me the occasion to pause and reflect on whether I am in the camp of the just or the wicked. What separates these two? What is the distinction? How will it change the way I act in daily life?

In the reading from the Book of Malachi, fear or awe of the Lord is one of the key distinctions. Of all the commandments in the Hebrew Bible, this is the determining factor! Not wicked murderers in this corner. Not wicked thieves in this ring of Hell. Not crooked politicians in this corner. "But for you who fear my name, there will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays." But for you who fear my name, there will arise the Son of Justice with His healing ways.

The wicked among us can sometimes be hard to spot. They can be devoted to their family yet still treat others with hatred. Think of the rich man who walked past Lazarus every day and found himself in everlasting torment for his misdeeds and lack of caring. Even though he never gave his table scraps to Lazarus at the gate, he probably showered gifts on his family and friends out of his wealth.


Ignorance may be bliss but it will not bring us eternal happiness. In fact, ignorance is no excuse for ignoring the Gospel imperatives that we learn early in the book of the prophet Isaiah and are then repeated in Luke's Good News as the Nazareth Manifesto. If we fear the Lord, how can we not do justice for our neighbors?

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.” (Luke 4:18-19)

Rather than accept this message with the awe that it was delivered, the people of Nazareth and Galilee reject it and the Son of Justice who delivers it. Are we ready today to accept this message and act upon it out of our awe of the Lord?