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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Doing Justice, Making Peace

"Justice shall flower in his days, and profound peace, till the moon be no more." Ps 72:7

Justice and peace can be dirty works for some, even believers. Not convinced that the gospel is about establishing justice, they shy away from what sounds like political language, and when they do this they cheat themselves and others of the full force of the gospel.

The Jewish community into which Jesus was born and the Christian community that emerged from Jesus' life, death and resurrection are always concerned about justice and peace.  In the book of Amos we read: “Take away from me the noise of your songs; to the melody of your harps I will not listen. But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing river." And St James says it clearly, "The harvest of justice is sown in peace for those who cultivate peace." (3:1) 

When we look at the actions of Jesus he is always working for justice. Turning over the tables of the money changers because they were unjustly charging pilgrims a usurious rate of exchange may be the clearest example, (Mt 21:12) but he also challenges the leaders of the Jewish communities who lay heavy burdens on the shoulders of the poor but do nothing to lift their burden. (Mt 23:4)

Today, lift another's burden because it is the just thing to do.

How do you feel about those who preach a gospel of justice and peace?

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