Social Justice Corner
What can we do to make the world a better place? War, hunger, disease, global warming, bad air days: these things seem too overwhelming to think about. When we do think about them, often, we think “I can’t change the world. I am too busy or I don’t have any control over the situation.” Yet as people of God we are called to bring hope to this world. We are chosen to be leaders in doing what is just. We are not asking you to join a committee. We are not asking for money or a lot of time. Frankly we don’t have a lot time either, but we are working on the principle of the “Loaves and the Fishes.” In John’s Gospel, a boy with only five barley loaves and two fishes offers them to Jesus to feed 5000 people. We offer what ever we can, knowing that Jesus can do great things with little amounts. What we are asking is that you read the social justice corner in the bulletin, think about what it says and consider doing the suggested actions. Not all of us will be able to do everything, but the important part to remember is that whatever you can do connects you totally into this important work of God. It is an opportunity to stand with God and his people. Look at the information provided in the Social Justice Corner and ask “What is God asking me to do?”
What is Social Justice? What people usually think when they hear the words Social Justice is political action. It can be political action, but Social Justice is an umbrella word that can include any Justice issue such as concern for the environment, economic justice, religious freedoms or capital punishment. Not all or even most of the suggested actions are political. Often the actions will involve simple choices made everyday like turning off lights when you leave the room or not letting water run. Sometimes the activities will involve choosing the more biodegradable packaging. Maybe we will have the opportunity to go protest something. The most important thing is that you understand how these actions are connected to our beliefs as people of God and that we stand up for those beliefs by our actions. In doing this we will be witnesses to our beliefs and we will be leading our community to a more God like society.
How are we different from big, powerful organizations like the Sierra club? Well if we just wanted to do political action it might make more sense to join forces with these big secular organizations. But, these actions are based in spirituality. When our committee meets we begin in prayer and end in prayer and it is always connected to God and is for God. We do not rely on our efforts alone. If you can only remember to turn off lights and can do no more because of your situation it may be the most important part of this work. Just as when the widow offered only two small coins and Jesus said that she had given the most we offer what we can and we rely on God for the rest. We are taking these social issues from a spiritual perspective. Even large secular universities are realizing that scientific information and explanations alone do not work to change serious situations. We want to break down information into pieces that are not overwhelming so that we can apply it to our situation in Derry. Using this information to make the best decisions for ourselves, our families and our world community, we can make the world a better place. We hope that future generations will be proud of the decisions that we make. Along with this information we will suggest an activity or provide an opportunity for further learning or action. Once when talking to some Catholic friends, they commented that Catholics don’t understand the depth that spirituality is connected to nature and suggested we might explore other religions such as paganism. I suggested that we should explore the connection of our Catholic spirituality more deeply because we don’t understand that. We are starting by looking at the Pope John Paul II and the bishops writings on social justice as our spiritual base. I hope that you can join us in what ever way you can. Thanks Bonnie