December 25, 2016

Pete HaackJustice Matters0 Comments

An interfaith network working for justice in Lawrence

Justice Matters to Christ—Why Me?

Christ Renews His Parish (CRHP) brought home the importance of witness to faith in my life as a Catholic in this particular parish. CRHP participants tell their story and witness to each other how Jesus Christ has worked in their lives; they are then called to go out and spread Christ’s saving message. That message includes building up Christ’s Body on earth by doing acts of justice that save people from structures of oppression and sin. Pope Francis regularly reminds us of the Gospel message to go to the marginalized of society, to those who suffer injustice politically and economically and are not given their true dignity as members of the Body of Christ.

So what does the call in faith to do justice mean? On December 28 the Church, we, the Body of Christ, remember the slaughter of the Holy Innocents by King Herod, truly the marginalized and oppressed by political and social power. This liturgical celebration challenges us to face the facts that unjust acts like this go on in our society today. By participating in Justice Matters, members of many faith congregations witness to Christ’s prophetic call to go beyond personal piety and do the works of justice in Lawrence as proclaimed in the Gospels—to free the imprisoned, to care for children, to shelter the homeless, to cure the afflicted sick, and to welcome the outcast and the ones not like us. These Gospel works of justice parallel and even mirror the 5 issues Justice Matters addresses now—jail reform, childhood trauma, affordable housing, mental health crisis center, and racism.

The leap of faith for the response to “Why me?” resides in the fact that we form the Body of Christ. St. Teresa of Avila has a prayer that says “Christ has no body now but yours” which poetically summarizes why and how we carry out the justice work of Christ. As other “Christs”, we members of St. John’s promote the work of justice by joining one of the Justice Matters teams and put the Nehemiah Assembly, March 30, on our calendars. It’s a simple way to do justice by attending and demonstrating our support in concrete acts of justice to better the Lawrence community. To join and put your name in to attend the Nehemiah Assembly email Joe Snyder at or call at 785-550-6421.

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