Saturday, November 14, 2015

See To It That Justice Is Done

When peaceful stillness compassed everything and the night in its swift course was half spent, Your all-powerful word, from heaven’s royal throne bounded, a fierce warrior, into the doomed land, bearing the sharp sword of your inexorable decree. And as he alighted, he filled every place with death; he still reached to heaven, while he stood upon the earth. Wisdom 18:14-16

The Lord said, “Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says. Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them? I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily. Luke 18:6-8A

Paris Cardinal AndrĂ© Vingt-Trois called for unity among those in the city in a statement Friday, and said he is asking Catholic parishes to observe days of mourning and prayer on Saturday and Sunday.

“Faced with the violence of men, may we receive the grace of a firm heart, without hatred,” Vingt-Troisasked. “May the moderation, temperance and control that has been shown so far, be confirmed in the weeks and months to come; let no one indulge in panic or hatred.”

“We ask that grace be the artisan of peace,” he asked. “We need never despair of peace if we build on justice.”

We contemplate the role and actions of the Lord as both the destroyer filling every place with death.  We recall the death on the cross, the death of the Passover, the death of the Egyptian army chasing Moses through the Red Sea and the death of Holy Innocents.  Stretched between heaven and earth sits the Lord both as judge and source of life. 

Despite the images of death, the Word of God brings us Good News.  “For all creation, in its several kinds, was being made over anew, serving its natural laws, that your children might be preserved unharmed.”  God the destroyer battles mightily with God the deliverer of new life.

What emerges is the gracious God granting the prayers we send forth granting us justice speedily, not reluctantly like the dishonest judge. His grace will lead us home.

“But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

In the light of the French attacks, I do wonder what the Son of Man will find.  Despite the promise of grace, justice and answers to our prayers, will the Son of Man find people asking solely for revenge as President Hollande said, ““To all those who have seen these awful things, I want to say we are going to lead a war which will be pitiless.”  However, a different sentiment emerges from the Vatican and Pope Francis who joined leaders around the world in condemning Friday night’s horrific terrorist attacks in Paris, saying they left him “shaken and pained” and are inhuman and unjustifiable.

Vatican spokesman Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi also separately called on people to resist allowing the terrorists to make them frightened or fearful but to instead seek the “message of mercy, that love of God which leads to mutual love and reconciliation.”[i]

Please pray for the people of France and everyone who is a victim of senseless attacks that fill every place –restaurant, stadium, concert halls and streets – with death.  May the attacks end and the love of God prevail.

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