Fasting: For Justice

I believe in charity and compassion, but, even more, I am coming to believe in working for justice.  As the saying goes, “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day.  Teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.”  The Gospel allows us to see things differently and empowers us to serve our neighbor.

Compassion is important.  Many people would starve if we don’t feed them while working for justice, but to continue to feed them without working for justice is equally as bad.  James (Chapter 2, NRSV) writes, “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill’, and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, https://www.acheterviagrafr24.com/generique-viagra/ is dead.”   Troubling words, especially when connected with Matthew 25 when it is said, ““Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?” Then he will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.””  Law, yes.  There is a place for the Law.  The Law confronts us with who we are and convicts us in knowing that we have fallen short and rebelled against God.  It is called reality.  And, I do believe that the Law can motivate us but only the Gospel can empower us.

So, as we make this Lenten journey, how might we, by the Spirit’s power, fast from injustice.  Both James and Isaiah tell us that true religion is evident when we care for the widowed and the orphaned.  In Lent we can pray for discernment to see what those in Matthew 25 could not see.  We pray to see the world through the eyes of Christ and then through the eyes of Christ and the Spirit’s power we strive to work for the justice to which God has called us.

And, by the way, it is getting harder and harder to discern justice in this politicized world.  Instead of listening to Facebook rants, biased news commentators, and radically vocal people, read the Scriptures.  It is in the Scriptures that we read of God’s call to justice.  The call to justice is God’s call to us.  Read, ponder and pray the Word.

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