The Perspective of Justice

God's Justice

Two sons were asked to work in the vineyard of their father. One said he would do so, but he didn’t. The other said he wouldn’t, but he did. It was this second son who did what the father wanted.

God, our Father, invites us all to work in the vineyard, preparing the world for the coming of the kingdom. Some of us talk about the work that needs to be done, calling attention to the social ills that divide us: the poverty and hunger, the discrimination and oppression, the militarism and war. 

Others of us do something about these problems: challenging the systems that produce poverty and hunger, struggling to overcome discrimination and oppression, agitating for peace and an end to militarism.

The challenge of Jesus Christ is to look to others’ interests rather than to one’s own. It is to look beyond one’s small world, which may be filled with satisfaction and fulfillment, to look out into that world where people suffer and die. And it is to go beyond talk and become involved in action for the transformation of the world.

Two sons were asked to work in the vineyard of their father. One of them did what the father wanted.

It is not enough to recall principles, state intentions, point to crying injustices and utter prophetic denunciations; these words will lack real weight unless they are accompanied for each individual by a livelier awareness of personal responsibility and by effective action.

Pope Paul VI, Octagesimo Adveniens, 1971: 48

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