Justice Reflections From Fr. Claude Mostowik

Sixth Sunday of Easter

God is constantly enlarging the boundaries of love, and we are invited to adapt our lives to ever inclusive patterns of love. This is Jesus’ final message which also brims with words of affirmation: ‘You are my friends!’ Jesus’ discourse is about farewell, assurances, final instructions and promises – promises to remain with them. Jesus’ parting words summarise his words concerning our call to love the ‘other’ especially the most vulnerable. He is our point of reference – seeing the world with the eyes of God and it is less likely that our decisions will come out of greed, revenge, or prejudice and involve countering dominating and controlling structures that prevent people from experiencing life to the full. Keeping the commandments does not involve legalism but the heart, relationship, with the other and with God. we are taken on another direction. When love of neighbour is uppermost our relationship to neighbour, the excluded, the unheard takes on a different meaning.

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Justice Reflections From Fr. Claude Mostowik

Fifth Sunday of Easter

‘When you remove the risk, you remove the challenge.
When you remove the challenge, you wither on the vine.’
Alex Low

The gospel image takes us back to Isaiah 5:1-7 where God looks for good fruit (justice love and peace) but finds only wild grapes. In looking for justice, right relationship, God heard only the cries of people being exploited. For one to see and to respond calls for a ‘pruning’ that awakens us to reach out to the other and advocate on their behalf. Advocacy is difficult and may not seem successful or popular. This is not possible without the ‘pruning’ that wakes us up and calls us out of our comfort zones, that challenges our political and religious beliefs and even the way we read the scriptures or relate to others with respect or paternalism, control and domination.  

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Justice Reflections From Fr. Claude Mostowik

Fourth Sunday in Easter

Dorothy Day, founder of the Catholic Worker movement, was a very harsh critic of her country because of its involvement with violence, oppression and injustice throughout the world. Out of love and loyalty, she was also very critical of the Church that often accommodated and compromised with worldly power which maintained and perpetuated injustice and oppression. Once she wrote, ‘I never expected much of the bishops. In all history, popes and bishops and abbots seem to have been blind and power-loving and greedy. I never expected leadership from them. It is the saints that keep appearing all through history who keep things going. What I do expect is the bread of life and down through the ages there is that continuity.’

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Justice Reflections From Fr. Claude Mostowik

Third Sunday of Easter

There is something very fleshy about Luke’s version of Jesus’ appearance to the disciples. When they thought they were seeing a ghost Jesus invites them to touch and see and then asks if they have something to eat. Jesus’ resurrection was not in some faraway place. He was flesh and blood. He ate with them and let them touch his hands and feet. Our resurrection, too, happens here on Earth. God cares about our bodies and our planet -especially those bearing wounds and scars. Where flesh and bone do not convince, Jesus asks for food. 

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Justice Reflections From Fr. Claude Mostowik

Second Sunday of Easter

Gregory Boyle in Barking to the Choir comments on ‘secular culture’ which is depicted as always being ‘hostile’ to Christianity. Boyle does not believe it to be true. He says, ‘Our culture is hostile only to the inauthentic living of the gospel.’ It seems more likely that that hostility to religious organisation is really saying that unless they see, they will not believe. So often when interacting with people who no longer identify as Christian, they say it is ‘because of Christians.’ Because of what they see, or don’t see in their lives.

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