July 17

 

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”. Religious posturing will fool nobody. We are expected to work to end the abuse endured by all people and other living beings. We cannot ignore all those abused by unjust economic systems, children without proper nutrition or education, 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.
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

Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real.
Thomas Merton 

With all things and in all things, we are relatives.
Sioux Proverb

Only a kind person is able to judge another justly and to make allowances for his weaknesses. A kind eye, while recognizing defects, sees beyond them.
Lawrence G. Lovasik

Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
Benjamin Franklin

Nothing is more deceitful than the appearance of humility.
Jane Austen

When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?
Eleanor Roosevelt

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