February-World Day of Social Justice
Luke 4: 16-22
He came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day as he usually did. He stood up to read, and they handed him the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Unrolling the scroll, he found the place where it is written:
The spirit of the Lord has been given to me,
For He has anointed me. He has sent me to bring the good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives and to the blind new sight, to set the downtrodden free, to proclaim the Lord’s year of favour.
He then rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the assistant and sat down. And all eyes in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to speak to them, ‘This text is being fulfilled today even as you listen’.
St Oscar Romero
There aren’t two categories of people. There aren’t some who were born to have everything, leaving the rest with nothing and cannot taste the happiness that God has created for all. The Christian society that God wants is one in which we share the goodness that God has given for everyone.
Reflection: Teresa Undurraga Volunteer Coordinator
In 2007 the UN established the 20th of February as the World Day of Social Justice. This day recognises the importance of working towards social justice, including the eradication of poverty, the promotion of employment and decent work, gender equity and access to social well-being.
Last year I visited South Africa where I met refugees who fled from war and conflict in their own countries only to face enormous injustices in a new country. As refugees and asylum seekers they had trouble accessing education, health, employment and other opportunities that would allow them to exercise a full life.
After hearing these stories of violence and injustice, it is easy to blame others rather than to think of our individual contributions towards the building of a better world. Justice requires all of us to examine ourselves and our place in society and to think of the efforts we are making so that everyone can live in peace and prosperity. Let us take this day to remember those who suffer from social injustices across the world and also to reflect on our own role in building a just society.
A prayer for solidarity
God of all creation
You have given us the world
Rich in diverse cultures and traditions,
Rich in landscape, plants and animal life;
Rich in resources, laws and social structure,
Offering safety and opportunity.
Where there is hunger in our world
May we share our food and resources
and contribute our skills and knowledge
to create a sustainable food supply.
Where there is disaster
May we respond quickly and generously
To bring relief to those injured and deprived of homes
and help them to rebuild their lives and communities.
Where there people are marginalised
May we see them first as people
and work tirelessly to ensure they are always included
and have the resources to reach their full potential.
Where young people are denied education,
because of poverty, war or lack of access
May we use our resources to give them those opportunities
that will enable them to fulfil their unique abilities and individual dreams.
Where people are displaced from their own lands,
Especially those who seek refuge,
May we dare to put ourselves in their shoes
And welcome them to share in the goodness meant for all.
Where the natural world is violated,
May we use our resources to bring ecological healing,
Recognising that the welfare of humanity is inextricably
woven into the web of creation,
knowing that what we do to the web we do to ourselves.
God of all creation
Give us clear eyes to see the whole world as your gift
That we may never take for granted the bounty you have given.
Give us open hearts to reach out to all our fellow human beings and
To walk in solidarity with our neighbours.
Adapted from the Australian Catholic Social Justice council website