THE LORD COMES TO RULE THE EARTH WITH JUSTICE
The refrain from today’s Responsorial Psalm gives hope to a world where injustice and suffering are all too common. The psalm calls all the world to sing with joy and praise the wise and just God who is Lord of all the earth. Unfortunately it is human beings, for whom the world was created, who have done such a poor job of treating one another with justice. Why? Because we do not sufficiently consider the principles inherent in God’s design of human society, which he makes evident in the Ten Commandments and the Gospels. This is the conversion which has been needed from the fall of our first parents and which, due to the presence of sin, will never be fully accomplished in this world.
At its root sin is a self-centeredness which rejects the sovereignty of God and the equality of other human beings. Our psalm today says that God “comes to rule…the peoples with equity.” If we are all equal in God’s sight, why can we not be equal in one another’s sight? On a large scale this inequity leads to “wars and insurrections.” On the personal level this attitude is manifested in the seven capital sins: pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, anger and sloth.
Today’s gospel warns of the suffering that must be endured in this world. Jesus exhorts his disciples not to fear even death, for he will deliver his faithful ones safely through it. Think of Psalm 23:4a: “Though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for you are with me.” Jesus himself became the victim of the greatest injustice perpetrated by humanity when he was crucified, but led the way through death’s passageway by his resurrection. It is the way each of us is invited to follow. It is the way of fidelity, justice and love.
This weekend a second collection is being taken up at both St. Charles and St. Peter for the support of our Catholic cemeteries. As we are reminded in November to pray for the faithful departed, so we should also remember to care for their mortal remains. They are relics of God’s holy people who were temples of the Holy Spirit (cf. 1 Corinthians 6:19) and the “living stones” (cf. 1 Peter 2:5) out of which the Church was built.
Next Sunday is the Solemnity of Christ the King, the final Sunday of the church year. It also marks the end of the Jubilee of Mercy proclaimed by Pope Francis. As this “year of mercy” comes to a conclusion, pray the rosary again this week for the souls in purgatory and for people who have been away from the Church. Pray for all who have been elected to public office. Finally pray for all who have experienced devastation and loss due to Hurricane Matthew and the earthquakes in Italy, and for all who are working to help them recover.
May God bless his people with peace.