The Perspective of Justice
As hard as it was for the people of Jesus’ native place to accept, the fact is that he was a prophet, no less a prophet than Jeremiah.
Just as Jeremiah had been warned that “they will fight against you, but not prevail over you, so the people rose up and expelled Jesus from the town. But he went straight through their midst and walked away.”
The message of Jesus and the prophets before him was to love all men as God loves them. The reason why they ran into problems is that so many people do not want to hear about “love for one another even as God has loved us.”
The love that Jesus preached “is not snobbish,” so it includes the filthy poor and the stinking homeless.
It “does not brood over injuries,” so it asks not how we can get even with this criminal but how we can help restore this human being.
It “does not rejoice in what is wrong,” so it causes us to react strongly against all forms of injustice and oppression.
This is revolutionary love.
“Prophecies will cease.” One day the talk about love will end, and the kingdom of love will become a reality. Of that there is no doubt.
The only question, in the meantime, is about who will “be filled with indignation” at the prophet of love, and who will be walking with the prophet through the midst of the crowd.
The missionary is a person of charity. In order to proclaim to all his brothers and sisters that they are loved by God and are capable of loving, he must show love toward all, giving his life for his neighbor. The missionary is the ‘universal brother,’ bearing in himself the Church's spirit, her openness to and interest in all peoples and individuals, especially the least and poorest of his brethren. As such, he overcomes barriers and divisions of race, cast or ideology. He is a sign of God's love in the world—a love without exclusion or partiality.
Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Missio (1990) 89
Now published in book form, To Love and Serve: Lectionary Based Meditations, by Gerald Darring This entire three year cycle is available at Amazon.com.
**From Saint Louis University