“Do I not rather rejoice when they turn from their evil ways that they might live?”
What a powerful part of today’s first reading from Ezekiel! I was taken aback by this line. It seems as if the Lord God told Ezekiel to “wake up,” per se, and do good in his community in order to “live.” Sounds like quite a strong call to action to me.
As we continue to live through the coronavirus pandemic, there is hope. We have hope with vaccines being distributed and people receiving them. There seems to be light at the end of the tunnel.
But, the pandemic has impacted so many parts of our lives and has shown us more clearly the inequities that exist in many of our social systems. When all is said and done and we are able to safely gather in person with others in the future and go out into our communities to serve and work for justice, how are we going to continue our ongoing work for justice, love, and community? Are we going to “turn from our evil ways” (such as racism, prejudice, xenophobia, white supremacy) and promote the common good, which, in turn, the Lord rejoices in? Or, are we going to revert to previous ways that perpetuate the injustices that exist? How can we be creative, innovative, and intentional in our acts of service, faith, and justice? We ought to look authentically and honestly at what has been happening around us.
So, what can Ezekiel’s words teach us for today? We look to the Gospel, where Jesus gives us criteria to follow to enter the Kingdom. During this Lenten season, let us reflect more deeply on what we should do in our lives so that Jesus’ rejoicing can be ours too and we can enter the Kingdom prepared for all of us, which is founded on love and justice.
- Thinking about your own unique lived experience, how have your eyes been opened to injustice that you may not have seen before the pandemic?
- As we move through the Lenten season and toward the eventual end of the pandemic, how can you discern and prepare for how you will live—in a way that builds the Kingdom, founded on faith and justice?
Ed Nuñez graduated from Creighton University in 2018 with a BA in justice and society and theology. At Creighton, he was involved with residential life, campus ministry, and service and justice programs. After graduation, Ed did a year of service with Amate House, working as a campus minister and support specialist at Arrupe College of Loyola University Chicago. Currently, Ed is back at Creighton as a graduate assistant in the Schlegel Center for Service and Justice and pursuing his MA in ministry.