Saturday, February 12, 2011

Social Justice is An Action

Tricia Lloyd-Sidle, JustFaith Ministries
Last fall, a politically conservative and controversial talk show host urged his audience to leave their congregations if the church mentioned "social" or "economic" justice.

Many people of faith who take to heart the message in the Gospels to care for our neighbors offered  a rebuttal. There were some great reflections from Bread for the World and Rev, Jim Wallis. 

I have had a great opportunity to take a closer look at the concept of social justice (and Catholic Social Teaching)  through the programs offered by JustFaith Ministries and scripture study by Ben Baran at my parish every Sunday.  

So, as I was browsing through the Web site of  Catholic Alliance for the Common Good, I came across a powerful reflection on this very topic by Eric LeCompte,  Executive Director of Jubilee USA Network, a interfaith coalition of more than 75 Denominations, Catholic Institutions, Human Rights, Labor and Environmental organizations.  The piece is entitled  No Apologies for Heeding God's Call of Social Justice
Justice is an action. Or at least, justice was an action for the Hebrew people. Justice is something to be actively sought after. It is even encoded into Hebrew law, "Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue..." (Deut 16:20).
The prophets were even more insistent. Justice and righteousness walk hand in hand, and the Hebrew word, tsedeq, can refer to either. Jeremiah goes so far as to say that to do justice is to know the Lord (Jer 22:16).
Micah 6:8 sums up the major themes of the 8th century prophets: Do justice (Amos), love kindness (Hosea), and walk humbly with your God (Isaiah).  All are actions.

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