Restoring Right Relationship

BY JOSH UTTER | September 7, 2020
Sunday’s Readings

If you have a friend who needs a crash course on how to take social action, before you point them to a webinar or toolkit, I recommend inviting them to revisit Sunday’s readings—here we have a social justice seminar within the Mass. From the first reading to the Gospel, each scripture passage provides a mini lesson on how to work for justice and reconciliation.  

Starting with Saint Paul’s letter to the Romans: “Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.” If our actions are not inspired by love for our fellow humans, what purpose does it serve? Is it a game we play to measure our own individual success? Or is it a road taken with others and for others to achieve the goal of a better future for all? 

right relationship

As Ezekiel points out, we have an obligation to speak out against injustice—not only to save ourselves, but to help others see how their actions take away from life. This is about entering into a relationship created by dialogue. We can shout into the void (I see you, Twitter) as much as we like, but are we also taking the time to enter into dialogue with a particular individual that may be committing the injustice? 

Of course, the injustice may be greater than one individual. It might be a group, an institution, a government. We have a responsibility to call them out as well. But how do you work for justice on your own when you face something much larger than you? Well, Jesus has an answer: organize. 

Action done in community can have a tremendous impact. “Again, amen, I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by heavenly Father.” Those steeped in the work of justice and reconciliation know well that progress can only be made when a cause expands beyond an individual to a community to a movement.

Now we have some homework: working to restore right relationship* here in the United States. Our divisions can only last as long as we ignore the need for reconciliation. It is critical in these next couple of months that we enter into dialogue, rather than be distracted and silenced by the aimless noise. 

*Jesuit Refugee Service defines as a journey to “create right relationships,”rooted in justice, and sought in dialogue among diverse religions, cultures, and groups.

2 replies
  1. RJ Andes
    RJ Andes says:

    When we call people or groups out just because our opinions or actions do not match our own are we then dictating to others by forcing a unwanted action that leads to unnecessary problems that shouldn’t have happened if you left them alone. The shady side is those that try to force whatever opinion become blinded by what they have always believed in and this leads to nowhere with everything remaining the exact same.

    People should be able to freely decide if they wish to be a non-violent social justice helper but should always remember it’s all for the greater good to call out those injustices even if it is amongst friends and famly but stay humble and call out hypocrisy you may see within anything your fighting for.

    Moral of the story fight for injustice but call it out if you see it within something you believe in, you will be a much better person and remember only God can judge, not you.


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