‘What is now does not have to be’
Job 5:11-16 So the poor have hope, and injustice shuts its mouth.
Luke 1:46-55 He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly
Job was living the good life and unexpectedly suffered the loss of his livestock and servants, and endured the devastation of the death of his children. He was suffering in his mind, body, and spirit. We all have suffering that is manifested in our minds, bodies,and spirits. We may pull away from God and others. We may lose hope. Yet, as Christians, we are unified in our belief that God is with us in the midst of our suffering.
On April 11, 2021 in Minnesota, Daunte Wright, a twenty-year old, unarmed African American man, was fatally shot by a white police officer during a routine traffic stop. This incident occurred during the Derek Chauvin trial for the killing of George Floyd.
It is easy to feel hopeless when we are once again reminded that we live in a fractured society that does not fully recognize, honour, and protect the human dignity and freedom of all human beings. According to Fr. Bryan Massingale, a leading Catholic social ethicist and scholar in racial justice, “Social life is made by human beings. The society we live in is the result of human choices and decisions. This means that human beings can change things. What human beings break, divide and separate, we can with God’s help, also heal, unite and restore. What is now does not have to be, therein lies the hope and the challenge.”
In prayer, Christians align their hearts to the heart of God, to love what he loves and to love as he loves. Prayer with integrity therefore aligns the hearts of all Christians beyond their divisions, to love what, whom and how God loves, and to express this love in our actions.
The Magnificat is Mary’s song of joy for all that she sees God is doing: restoring balance by raising up the lowly; righting injustice by feeding the hungry; and remembering Israel, his servant. The Lord never forgets his promises or abandons his people. It is easy to overlook or undervalue the faith of those who belong to other Christian communities, particularly if those communities are small. But the Lord makes his people whole by raising up the lowly so that the value of each is recognised. We are called to see as He sees and to value each of our Christian brothers and sisters as He values them.
How can we come together in Christ with hope and faith that God will “shut injustice’s mouth?”
God of Hope,
Help us to remember that you are with us in our suffering.
Help us to embody hope for one another when hopelessness is a frequent unwelcomed guest in our hearts.
Grant us the gift of being grounded in your loving Spirit as we work together to eradicate all forms of oppression and injustice.
Give us the courage to love what, whom and how you love, and to express this love in our actions. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.