November 19

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 is unacceptably transparent. 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 ways 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

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 which fails to safeguard the natural environment. These aspects of globalization can give rise to extreme reactions, leading to excessive nationalism, religious fanaticism and 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

If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.
Charles Darwin

It takes great courage to open one’s heart and mind to the tremendous injustice and suffering in our world.
Vincent A. Gallagher

The closest thing to being cared for is to care for someone else.
Carson McCullers

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
nothing is going to get better.  It’s not.
Dr. Seuss

What is the mark of love for your neighbor? Not to seek what is for your own benefit, but what is for the benefit of the one loved, both in body and in soul.
St. Basil the Great

 

 

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