July 11

Reflection

This is what God asks of you
Only this:
To act justly
To love tenderly
To walk humbly with your God
Micah 6:8

To do “only this” is quite an expectation! It throws aside all the rituals and rules we think are making us “please” God and strips us down to the bare realities. To be in relationship with God we are to imitate God’s love and justice and realize where we have not “walked humbly” with God. Religious posturing will not do. We are expected to work to end the abuse endured by God’s people. We cannot ignore all those abused by unjust economic systems, the children without proper nutrition or education, the strangling debt caused by international financial institutions, those who work for less than a living wage while a few live in total luxury, women denied basic rights and a planet stressed to its limits by our selfish practices. It challenges us to our core. This is what God asks of us. The rest is unimportant.

Prayer

God of love and justice enable us to be committed to the common good.

Action

What situations in your immediate experience call you to act justly and love tenderly? What can you do as a member of your church or as a citizen to help move the larger society toward these goals? What are your obligations as a citizen of this nation?

Suggested Readings

Blessed are they who maintain justice, who constantly do what is right.
Psalm 106:3

Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless.
Isaiah 10:1-2

None of us can think we are exempt from concerns for the poor and for social justice.
Pope Francis

It is disturbing to witness a globalization that exacerbates the conditions of the needy, that does not sufficiently contribute to resolving situations of hunger, poverty and social inequality that fails to safeguard the natural environment. These aspects of globalization can give rise to extreme reactions leading to excessive nationalism, religious fanaticism and even acts of terrorism. All of this is far-removed from the concept of an ethically responsible globalization capable of treating all peoples as equal partners and not as passive instruments. Accordingly, there can be little doubt of the need for guidelines that will place globalization firmly at the service of authentic human development — the development of every person and of the whole person — in full respect of the rights and dignity of all.
John Paul II

I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.
Thomas Jefferson

Until the great mass of the people shall be filled with the sense of responsibility for each other’s welfare, social justice can never be attained.
Helen Keller

The challenge of social justice is to evoke a sense of community that we need to make our nation a better place, just as we make it a safer place.
Marian Wright Edelman

Every social justice movement that I know of has come out of people sitting in small groups, telling their life stories, and discovering that other people have shared similar experiences.
Gloria Steinem

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