BY ED NUÑEZ | February 26, 2021
Today’s Readings

“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. 

turning from our evil ways

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. 

For Reflection:

  • 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? 

6 replies
  1. Avatar
    Mary Gramins says:

    Your views on justice are inspiring, but the TOTAL LACK of gender inclusive language in the scriptures you provide before we read about “justice” is contradictory to your theme.

    Reply
  2. Avatar
    Dr Eileen Quinn Knight says:

    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.
    Being intentional in our service to others is such an authentic way of being. I serve others by my loving embrace of who the person is. My presence to them is as important as the service itself. In school, I listen to the teacher I am observing to see her comfort and honesty with the subject and the person she is. I notice her interactions with the students in the class and how she notices the God of Ezekiel in them. We really all are in the presence of God and want to bring him strongly in other generations by our words and deeds.

    Reply
  3. Avatar
    Elaine says:

    Hello Ed,
    It is always a bright “spot” to hear/see of someone who has graduated from Creighton Univ. as did I. I’m happy for you that you are able to be back there for more time on a great campus.
    For no specific reason I am going to tell you of something that has bothered me about Ignatian Solidarity Network for a long time. It did strike a note when in parentheses after the words “evil ways” you list some issues that may fit into social justice but can you please enlighten me why no one who writes this column ever lists abortion/euthanasia/elderly abuse as a most “evil way?” How can we start with “racism, prejudice, xenophobia, white supremacy” and not face it down that all of these start with respect and care for ALL of life from the moment of conception til natural death?
    Are you all afraid of the backlash you might get from those who wish to take the lives of others? Is it social pressure? Have you given up on these issues because they have been around for some time? If so, then why bother with touting “social justice” at all? All life, no matter the stage of development or health condition is just that, LIFE-made in the image and likeness of God. I know you all know that so why are there no defenders of innocence when it comes to the right to life to be heard from Ignatian Solidarity Network?
    All the “goody” things people want to say about how they themselves are active in social justice but have nothing to say or show for how they protect life from the moment of conception until natural death is so obviously deceptive.
    We get to these social issues because the protection and respect for life is not engaged from the start.
    As it is, life is short no matter how the topic is approached. Eternity? Not just 2021 but when each one of us passes from this life. Do we think about others instead of putting ourselves first?
    How about a social justice article connected with abortion, euthanasia, elderly abuse? We have some real “starters” this very day with all of these. If one cares about social justice what about the lives that were “used” and “endangered/played with” in New York when those known to be infected with Covid were admitted to the “homes” of the elderly in assisted living facilities etc.? That is heartbreaking to know this was taking place. Why not fight for that justice? Would it make a difference if it were you or your family?
    What kind of justice is there in exorbitant government spending programs that exist to “hide” evil in the ways people wish to dominate the poor and underserved in their name?
    My hope, Ed, is that someone from Ignatian Solidarity Network will observe the importance of this type of topic that no one mentions in these articles. The topics I mention are most pertinent and apropos. Staying away from such topics as I mention lowers the bar on morality, justice, Christianity and more.

    Since this is a Catholic organization why doesn’t someone have the guts to tackle the issues confronting Christianity/Catholicism? What does “devout” Catholic really mean? Where is the “Jesuit” in how this is being/not being handled by those ridiculing the Catholic faith? Where does “mercy” enter in? How “Jesuit” is a Jesuit who fights his fellow priests who don’t agree with him by releasing their phone numbers and addresses? Would anyone dare to answer that?

    Thanks, Ed, for your article. Much of what I have written is really addressed to “Ignatian Solidarity Network” and not to anyone specifically. People’s hearts are fuming. I truly wish you the very best.

    Reply
  4. Avatar
    Felipe Barreda says:

    Since Ash Wednesday I have written 63 pages of meditations and thoughts from everyone like Bishop Roberto Barron, to JesuitPrayer.org and even Pope Francis. In the last ten days I have even seen the dark soul within myself. I assumed that the arguments that my wife and I were having were the normal arguments that any married couple had but I didn’t realize that they were hurting her. She complains that I tried to manipulate her and by the same token, I did not see her attempts to help me when I thought that they were attacks and that she was taking sides with the people I perceived were against me and trying to hurt me. I did not see the dark soul and the monster I had become not even when I had my heart attack and we became separated. How will I live in a way that builds the Kingdom, I will kill the monster within me even if it means my life.

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  5. Avatar
    Dr.Cajetan Coelho says:

    Dedicating one’s mind and heart to bring about justice and equality in the world we are placed is a healthy mission.

    Reply

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