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February-World Day of Social Justice

 

The Beatitudes 

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him.

Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

(Matthew 5:1-12)

Reflection

Today is the World Day of Social Justice, the day we celebrate efforts to challenge to social structures that suppress human dignity and contribute to poverty.  Social justice goes hand in hand with charitable works.  Where we see and treat the symptoms of social problems we must also take action on the root causes that bring these problems about.

World Day of Social Justice gives us an opportunity to reflect on how far our own behaviours and the society we live in aligns with the social order Jesus hints at in the beatitudes.  Could we describe ourselves as peacemakers?  Does our society treat the poor in spirit with the dignity owed to those who will inherit the kingdom of heaven?

Where we, our wider community, or our world falls short of Jesus’ invitation to be people fit for heaven, the beatitude inspire us to consider the changes we could make to work towards a more just world.

A prayer for making a difference

Grant, gentle Father,

that your Spirit may give us the will and the courage

to act to make a difference,

in order to make real your kingdom among us,

so that we may we all live together

in peace, truth, justice and love,

sharing the resources of the earth. Amen.

(From the Jesuit Institute)