Justice Reflections From Fr. Claude Mostowik

Eighteenth Sunday of the Year

Whenever we reflect on the scriptures we face another aspect that makes up the image of the God of Jesus. The question is: will we live into God's image or will we try to force God into our image? Our actions or failures to act; our neglect or violence can obscure God’s image in the world. The first reading gives us a glimpse of an emerging relationship with God. The people in the wilderness were still getting to know this God who had been instrumental in their liberation. Their complaints against God and Moses also reveal another aspect of God and the way God relates to us.

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Justice Reflections From Fr. Claude Mostowik

Seventeenth Sunday of the Year

We begin with the beautiful image in day’s psalm, ‘You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing’ to reflect God’s abundance and generosity. This gesture of welcome, open hands and sharing is in contrast to closed hands or fists suggesting individualism, negligence and violence.

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Justice Reflections From Fr. Claude Mostowik

The gospel shows Jesus going out and seeing a great multitude, and his compassion for them, and teaching them about peace and love. That compassion was extended to his disciples when called to come away for rest and learn about peace and love. His compassion and mercy moved him to be close to people. We see Jesus leave a boat and look out to see people like sheep without a shepherd. He left the ‘sanctuary’ of the boat and his followers could stay in the ‘safety’ of the boat and make their home among strangers. In our time, another man (Pope Francis) gets off of a plane and looks out at a people crying out for recognition and tells them God hears their cry, and like a shepherd sent, joins his voice to call for the sacred rights of land, lodging and labour. May the cry of the excluded be heard …… throughout the world.’

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Justice Reflections From Fr. Claude Mostowik

Fifteenth Sunday of the Year

Last week Jesus was made to feel a stranger in his home town and expelled from the synagogue, as Amos today is expelled from the sanctuary. Today, the disciples are called to make their home amongst strangers. Amos has just delivered a powerful call for social justice by condemning those who try to please God with ‘worship’ whilst their lifestyles were based on dishonesty, corruption and oppression of the poor. Amaziah, the religious leader, preferred prophets who told people what they want to hear and made clear that Amos’ message was not welcome. But rejection did not silence Amos. He disrupted the assumptions of his listeners, and God’s messengers, in all their guises, even that of a rejected local boy from Nazareth, who still disrupts our assumptions and certitudes.

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Justice Reflections From Fr. Claude Mostowik

Fourteenth Sunday of the Yea

People sometimes talk about thankless jobs. What about this job description: Requires spending endless hours with people who dislike, dismiss, or reject you completely. Must be able to defend a product that few want and many hate. No vacations; few apparent benefits. Poor pay. Chances of bodily harm, torture and death very high.’ This was the thankless job of people like Ezekiel, other prophets and Jesus.

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