Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Social Justice’ Category

King David Acted Despicably

One of the wonderful thing about the Scriptures is that they show our ancestors and heroes as unvarnished human beings. Today’s reading from 2 Samuel 11:1-10, 13-17 shows King David at his lustful, adulterous, murderous, and most faithless worst. You can read it for yourself, but basically David commits adultery and makes sure that the woman’s husband will be killed in battle so that he can take his wife for his own without recrimination. Despicable.

Can we find our unvarnished human selves in the pages of Scripture? I’ve been reading about the way the assemblers of iPhones, iPads, and all things Apple are treated in factories in China. And as I hold my own Apple products I have to wonder, how am I implicitly guilty of the inhuman conditions in those factories? How do my buying habits affect others in the world?

How am I complicit in the War Against the Poor?

Dominicans for Peace and Justice

When I pray for peace,
I pray not only that the enemies of my own country may cease to want war,
but above all that my own country will cease to do the things that make war inevitable.

– Thomas Merton

Dominican Sisters demonstrating at the School of the Americas in Fort Benning, Georgia

We pray for peace.
We pray for an end to violence and the teaching of violence.
Let us not study war any more.
We pray for all those who will be gathered this weekend at Fort Benning.
We pray for those who ask that we close the School of the Americas.
We pray for those who will cross the line.

What Do Football and the Church Share in Common?

There’s a common thread that runs through many of the latest news items.

I’m just wondering what is it that Football and the Church have in common?

  • Is it that they both have major celebrations on the weekends?
  • Is it that they are both male bastions?
  • Is it that they both adhere to a code of silence?
  • Is it that their most loyal fans cry “Foul!” in disbelief?
  • Is it because both “institutions” are hierarchical – and seemingly beyond blame?
  • How else can you explain the feeling of vulnerability of the janitor/witness?
  • How else can you explain away the fact that the university police didn’t pursue this?
  • How else can you explain the D.A. not investigating or prosecuting?
  • How else can you explain all those men knowing . . . and doing nothing?

    May our resolve for justice be like this sister in El Salvador and the persistent widow in Luke's Gospel.

When a child is attacked, they look the other way. When a woman reports her attacker, she is called a whiner, and others are warned not to speak up. Women and children . . . the powerless ones . . . the vulnerable  ones.

On behalf of the vulnerable, we must be like the widow in today’s Gospel reading:

Jesus said, “There was a judge in a certain town who neither feared God nor respected any human being. And a widow in that town used to come to him and say, “Render a just decision for me against my adversary.” For a long time the judge was unwilling, but eventually he thought, “While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being, because this widow keeps bothering me I shall deliver a just decision for her lest she finally come and strike me.””

The Lord said, “Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says. Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them? I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18: 1-8)

Who do you want to stand with?

Taking Jesus Seriously

A few years ago I read a book entitled, Taking Jesus Seriously, by John Cowan. I recall agreeing with the author that we tend to rationalize away many of the things that Jesus said, and thus don’t really take him seriously. Just pay attention, what are the things that many religious people (we) wave their (our) arms about? Then ask yourself, did Jesus talk about these things? And then look at the overwhelming social needs in our country and world. Then ask yourself, what did Jesus say about this?

Today’s Gospel reading from Luke left me wondering.

On a sabbath Jesus went to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees. He said to the host who invited him, “When you hold a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or sisters or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors, in case they may invite you back and you have repayment. Rather, when you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to  repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

So, if I pay attention to my life, and the banquets and dinners I attend, I see tables of plenty. Then I ask myself, “Who is missing?” How do the guest lists match up with Jesus’ guest list, without my trying to rationalize it with giving time or money to a homeless shelter?

What will it cost me to really take Jesus’ words seriously? And how can we encourage one another to really do just that?

Table of Plenty - Set for Whom?

Bent Over with a Burden

In today’s Gospel reading (Lk 13:10-17), Jesus heals a woman whose back is so bent and deformed, she cannot stand. There are many today who have burdens that keep them from standing and walking freely. How are we working to free and heal them?

woman, el salvador, cane

This woman is not bent over, but her poverty is truly a burden that keeps her from standing and walking as freely as we do.

God’s Viewpoint on Immigration

From today’s first reading:

Thus says the LORD:
“You shall not molest or oppress an alien,
for you were once aliens yourselves in the land of Egypt.
You shall not wrong any widow or orphan.
If ever you wrong them and they cry out to me,
I will surely hear their cry.

Exodus 22:21-23

Santo Torribio, Saint Torribio, patron of immigrants, Juarez, Mexico

Children place banner of Santo Torribio Romo on the back of a truck at prayer service for justice in immigration law. Picture by Lyn Kirkconnell.

The Bible states it very clearly in Exodus and elsewhere that we are to be just with those who cross our borders, because once we were aliens in the land. And with the exception of our Native People, all of us are either immigrants or children of immigrants. Let us be just.

Surely God does hear the cry of the immigrant as they are misused at job sites, deported before they receive their paychecks, and separated from their families. Santo Toribio Romo has been known to appear to immigrants crossing the hot, barren, dry Sonoran desert, and lead them to safety. We can pray for the intercession of Santo Toribio on behalf on immigrants who are in danger at this moment.

Please join the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael in working for just immigration reform. Our corporate stance can be found on our website.