The Perspective of Justice

My Ways Are Not Your Ways

Peter knew that Jesus was the messiah awaited by God’s people, but he did not understand that Jesus would be a suffering messiah. God forbid that any such thing ever happen to you!

But it did happen to Jesus, and it happens to those who follow him: “If a man wishes to come after me, he must deny his very self (and) take up his cross.”

Jeremiah had foretold the suffering of those who work for the coming of the kingdom: “All the day I am an object of laughter; everyone mocks me ... The word of the Lord has brought me derision and reproach all the day.”

It is not easy, this business of following Christ.

You work for peace, and people accuse you of being unpatriotic. You stand up for the poor, and people write you off as a naive dreamer. You work for nonviolent change, like Martin Luther King, or Ita Ford, or Archbishop Oscar Romero, and they shoot you. Meanwhile, you calmly go about your life, praying that God fill our hearts with love and increase our faith.

“Do not conform yourselves to this age,” Paul wrote to the Romans. We pay a price for such an approach, but we do so willingly because of our faith in the “promise of salvation.”

The Church, like a pilgrim in a foreign land, presses forward amid the persecutions of the world and the consolations of God, announcing the cross and death of the Lord until he comes.

By the power of the risen Lord, she is given strength to overcome patiently and lovingly the afflictions and hardships which assail her from within and without, and to show forth in the world the mystery of the Lord in a faithful though shadowed way, until at the last it will be revealed in total splendor. 

Vatican II, Constitution on the Church, 1964:8.

Gerald Darring

Now published in book form, To Love and Serve: Lectionary Based Meditations, by Gerald Darring This entire three year cycle is available at


**From Saint Louis University

Kristin Clauson