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Monday, May 27, 2013

Doing Justice is a Prayer

"The just one’s offering enriches the altar and rises as a sweet odor before the Most High. The just one’s sacrifice is most pleasing, nor will it ever be forgotten."  Sir 35: 8-9

Doing justice is rarely pretty or without agitation for the just person and the society in which she lives. Insisting that everyone has a right to life, food, housing, education, medical care and speech will always upset some, especially if the just person speaks on behalf of people in prisons or others who we blithely say should be deprived of their human rights because of a crime.  While it might be necessary to imprison people for serious offenses against the society, we must never forget that they are human persons, beloved by God and worthy of our respect.

The wisdom of Sirach suggests that doing justice is like burning incense in the temple. We offer the rightness of our actions humbly but with joy, making a "sweet odor before the Most High." It can be difficult to remember this truth and this lesson when we have been hurt and outraged by another's action. The recent difficulty in finding a cemetery to bury the young man who planted bombs at the finish line of the Boston marathon reminds of this. Funeral directors were afraid of the violent reaction some might have towards them if they helped Tamerlan Tsarnaev''s family bury their son.

God promises never to forget our just actions, despite the cost to us or our faith communities. Doing what is right no matter how difficult the circumstances is always a challenge, but one we must accept if we are to claim God as our unconditionally loving Lord.

Today, ask God for the eyes to see your enemies with God's eyes.

Have you experienced God's love as unconditional?

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