The Perspective of Justice

Resembling God

The God we worship is “the father of orphans and the defender of widows who gives a home to the forsaken and leads forth prisoners to prosperity and has made a home for the poor.” The God we worship tells us: “when you have a reception, invite beggars and the crippled, the lame and the blind.”

Does our ministry bear any resemblance to the God we worship? Do we provide shelter to homeless children? Do we stand up for the lonely elderly? Do we lead prisoners to prosperity? Do we make our church a home for the poor? Do we invite the helpless to our party?

Today’s liturgy challenges us to a different lifestyle, one based on forgiveness, love and faith, humble living, the following of Jesus, who is gentle and lowly of heart, peacemaking and suffering persecution, and service of others.

We know that we have responded to this challenge when we begin to resemble the God we worship, the “God who has made a home for the poor.”

It is not merely a matter of ‘giving from one’s surplus,’ but of helping entire peoples which are presently excluded or marginalized to enter into the sphere of economic and human development.

For this to happen, it is not enough to draw on the surplus goods which in fact our world abundantly produces; it requires above all a change of lifestyles, of models of production and consumption, and of the established structures of power which today govern societies


(Pope John Paul II, Centesimus Annus, 1991: 58

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