(I am writing a monthly column for my parish bulletin’s Social Justice Ministry, reflecting on the Sunday Readings)
In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells the parable of a widow who finally receives a favorable decision from a judge because she would not give up. Even though “for a long time the judge was unwilling,” the widow’s persistence caused the judge to finally act. Jesus tells his disciples that so too God will answer people who call out to him and, he will see that justice is done.
When thinking about social issues like poverty, homelessness, unemployment, and incarceration, it can feel overwhelming. But for people who follow Jesus, we are taught not to see issues that need to be solved, but to see the humanity of each and every person experiencing those conditions. We see the person who does not have enough money to feed their children; the family living in their car because they cannot afford rent; the single mom who cannot find a job after being laid off; the person in jail who deserves to be treated humanely. Recognizing the human dignity of every person allows us to see the people who need our compassion, care, and assistance. We no longer want “those people” out of our sight and communities. Instead, we work for justice and like the widow, we do not give up. We continue to advocate for every person to have the necessities and opportunities to live abundant lives.
At the end of the Gospel reading, Jesus asks, “But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” Let all of us, through our love of God and our neighbor, be able to respond, Yes!