Thursday, October 10, 2013

Justice Will Arise

Thursday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time 

For the day is coming, blazing like an oven, when all the arrogant 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, the sun of justice will arise with healing in its wings.  Malachi 3:19-20a

I tell you, if he does not get up to give him the loaves because of their friendship, he will get up to give him whatever he needs because of his persistence.  “And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”  Luke 11:8-9

Father, give our prayers the persistence of a child crying out in need without ceasing as we ask you for what is needed to lead a just life. Jesus, hear us knocking and listen to what we ask of you in faith. Intercede on our behalf with your loving and generous Father.  Holy Spirit, respond to our knocking by giving us the good gifts that the Father sets aside for His children. Amen.

Who do you love? 

Bo Diddley posed that question in his famous “hoodoo” song of the sixties that has been covered by the Doors, George Thorogood and many other bands. 

He is not unlike the prophet Malachi.  Centuries ago, Malachi classified people into two categories based upon the answer to that question.  One on side are those who love and fear the Lord.  He knows them because they talk to the Lord (pray) regularly.  On the other side are those who do not.  St. Luke’s Good News also focuses on those who persistently ask the Lord for what they need in life. 

Like the people referred to by the prophet Malachi, we don’t realize when we have spoken against God. Like Peter denying Christ, have we asked in vain, “What have we spoken against you?”

When we side with injustice, either by choice or by apathy, we will end up with neither “root nor branch.” We won’t be anchored in any values nor will we grow in faith.

Yet what will the other path yield? Do we see the good gifts that will come from God when we choose justice over injustice? But for you who fear my name, there will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays (Malachi 3:20).

St. Luke puts it another way: 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?”

There are only two types of people in the world – those who are just and those who are not. Another way to look at this is those who serve God and those who do not.

Which camp are we in? Do we even know it?

Do we throw our unquestioning support behind a secular society that time after time remains indifferent to a consistent ethic of life? Do we speak out against one evil while silently condoning other practices which violate that same ideal?

Where have we compromised our values in favor of political, economic, and social conventions that end up further dividing society?

Why do we do this? Do we do so merely to seek the short term rewards of a fatter retirement nest egg, higher real estate values on our homes, a heftier salary or a fancier car?

Today, focus on how you can prudently and lovingly give good gifts to those in need rather than siding with the forces of amassing wealth and power for yourself.  

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