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“Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart.” —Luke 18:1
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Today’s Gospel gives us a parable with a rather clear and concise definition of justice.
We often think of this word as equal to fairness. Or that it’s a noun. Something you are given, or get.
In today’s Gospel, Luke tells us this word is a verb. Something we do. And it means fear God, respect others.
In the parable Jesus tells his disciples, he offers a story about a woman facing injustice asking a judge to help her fight against it. And this judge, despite not caring all that much about her or about God, eventually gives in and helps her out.
It’s tempting to interpret this text as wearing God down.
She just bugs the judge enough that he caves so that he’s left alone. But that is not the point.
Jesus reminds us that if the judge, who doesn’t care at all, acts against injustice, then how much more will our loving, cares-a-lot, God act?
God is always working on behalf of those who have no power, no voice, no system set up to help them out.
If this is you, if you are like the woman, simply asking for nothing more than justice, then this is good news indeed.
But if you (and I’d venture to argue that this is true for most of us) are NOT oppressed. If the systems of this world set you up to succeed and thrive, if you have a voice in the world, then your role is to stand up and fight for the ones who need you.
What an honor, privilege, and joy to be able to work with God in the world to bring about justice.
Questions to Ponder or Discuss
1. What does justice mean to you? How do you define it?
2. How can you use your definition of justice to then define injustice?
3. Are your definitions the same or different than Luke’s Gospel?
4. Name some systems of which you are a part (education, legal, political, etc).
5. Where is your place in those systems? Have they helped you or hurt you? How?
Make a list of the people that are among the forgotten and ignored by the systems in place in our world today. How can you make an effort and use your place and power to speak and act on their behalf?