He Will See to it Justice is Done*

(October 16, 2022)

Bottom line: Only God can bring the justice we long for. We are in a spiritual battle. Like Moses we need to keep our arms lifted in prayer. And like the widow seeking justice, we need persistent prayer.

Today Jesus asks a sobering question, "But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?" It does sometime seem like we are in the last days. On the world stage we see the possibility of "Armageddon". The bible indicates the world will end in fire. It may be a fire of our own making. In the Our Father we pray, "deliver us from evil". That phrase can also be translated, "save us from the final test". Archbishop Sartain has asked us to join in prayer that we that a nuclear Armageddon will not consume our world.

Jesus tells us that before his second coming there will be a great falling away. We see that today. Many people say, "I don't need God to tell me what is right and wrong, good and bad. I can decide for myself." People fear judgment. But judgment does have a positive side. Jesus says, "Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them? I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily."

We are all sinners, but we all long for justice. Pope Benedict spoke about this desire. He wrote:

"There is justice. There is an 'undoing' of past suffering, a reparation that sets things aright. For this reason, faith in the Last Judgement is first and foremost hope — the need for which was made abundantly clear in the upheavals of recent centuries."

When Pope Benedict was 16, he witnessed the Nazis taking away his cousin because he had Down Syndrome. They put the boy to death as part of their plan to create a perfect race. That was only one of the innumerable atrocities committed by the Nazis. History is filled with groups of people treating others cruelly. Our own country had two centuries of legalized slavery. Atrocities abound to this day. Young people are particularly sensitive to injustices. When we see injustices we want reparation, but we are usually disappointed. Pope Benedict wrote:

"I am convinced that the question of justice constitutes the essential argument, or in any case the strongest argument, in favor of faith in eternal life."

That's what we pray for in the Our Father - Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. In this world, so full of injustice, we pray that God's justice will come.

All of this puts us in the middle of a battle. We have the example of Moses. On the way to the Promised Land, Amalek attacked Israel. Amalek and his followers represent all the forces of evil - all those attempting to frustrate God's plan. We hear, "As long as Moses kept his hands raised up, Israel had the better of the fight, but when he let his hands rest, Amalek had the better of the fight." Two young men had to help Moses keep his arms raised in prayer. As your pastor, my main job is to pray for you. Same with our dads and moms for their children. And like Moses we need to involve our young people in prayer.

And we need persistence like the woman in the Gospel. She was seeking justice, but the judge wouldn't give her the time of day. She keeps pestering him. The judge thinks, "While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being, because this widow keeps bothering me I shall deliver a just decision for her lest she finally come and strike me." Now, Jesus is not telling us to make ourselves into pests, but regarding God, we have to keep asking. Don't worry about making yourself a pest to God. He can take it. In fact, he will reward your persistence.

So yes, we live in dangerous times and many have given up the faith. Only God can bring the justice we long for. We are in spiritual battle. Like Moses we need to keep our arms lifted in prayer. And like the widow seeking justice, we need persistent prayer.

**********

*Here is the revised version:

Today Jesus asks a sobering question, "But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?" Jesus tells us that before his second coming there will be a great falling away. We see that today. Many people say, "I don't need God to tell me what is right and wrong, good and bad. I can decide for myself." This way of thinking goes back to a nineteenth century philosopher Fredrick Nietzsche who proclaimed "God is dead" and therefore we each have to make up our own morality. That hasn't worked out so well. In the 20th century, the Nazis and Communists made up their own morality apart from God. They wound up committing atrocities on a scale not seen in human history. Today we have Vladimir Putin who claims to be a Christian but who has a perverted morality that makes him think he has the right to take over another nation and to threaten nuclear weapons.

The fact is we need God if we are going to find the right path. St. Paul tells Timothy, "Remain faithful to what you have learned and believed...from infancy you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are capable of giving you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus." Then Paul explains why the Bible is so important: "All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness..."

In our Faith Formation program, children, youth and adults are learning the teachings of the Bible. We are trying to help parents share that teaching with their children. That's what St. Paul says to do, "proclaim the word; be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching." Our Faith Formation will help our parents their duty to convince and even sometimes reprimand their children. But above all to encourage them with patience.

Brothers and sisters, we are in a spiritual battle. We need God, we need the Bible and we need prayer. We have the example of Moses. On the way to the Promised Land, Amalek attacked Israel. Amalek and his followers represent all the forces of evil - all those attempting to frustrate God's plan. We hear, "As long as Moses kept his hands raised up, Israel had the better of the fight, but when he let his hands rest, Amalek had the better of the fight." Two young men had to help Moses keep his arms raised in prayer. As your pastor, my main job is to pray for you. Same with our dads and moms for their children. And like Moses we need to involve our young people in prayer.

And we need persistence like the woman in the Gospel. She was seeking justice, but the judge wouldn't give her the time of day. She keeps pestering him. The judge thinks, "While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being, because this widow keeps bothering me I shall deliver a just decision for her..." Now, Jesus is not telling us to make ourselves into pests, but regarding God, we have to keep asking. Don't worry about making yourself a pest to God. He can take it. In fact, he will reward your persistence.

So yes, the end of the world may be near. We live in dangerous times and many have given up the faith. We are in a battle for our own souls and the souls of our children. We need God. We need the Bible and the teachings of our Church. Like Moses we need to keep our arms lifted in prayer. And like the widow seeking justice, we need persistent prayer.

It is enough to recognize that our body itself establishes us in a direct relationship with the environment and with other living beings. The acceptance of our bodies as God's gift is vital for welcoming and accepting the entire world as a gift from the Father and our common home,  whereas thinking that we enjoy absolute power over our own bodies turns, often subtly, into thinking that we enjoy absolute power over creation

Learning to accept our body, to care for it and to respect its fullest meaning, is an essential element of any genuine human ecology. Also, valuing one's own body in its femininity or masculinity is necessary if I am going to be able to recognize myself in an encounter with someone who is different. In this way we can joyfully accept the specific gifts of another man or woman, the work of God the
Creator, and find mutual enrichment. It is not a healthy attitude which would seek to cancel out sexual difference because it no longer knows how to confront it.

Laudato Si 155

From Archives (Homilies for Twenty-Seventh Sunday, Year C): Joseph Man of Quiet Courage (Audio homily for 27th Sunday, Year C 2016)

Geography of Faith: Part 4 (Audio homily for 27th Sunday, Year C 2013)

From Archives (Homilies for Twenty-Sixth Sunday, Year C):

2019: The Certitude of Faith
2016: Boots Laced Week 3: A Just Man
2013: Geography of Faith: The Return from Exile
2010: Questions That Lead to Faith
2004: The Greatest Power
2001: Increase Our Faith
1998: Lord, Increase our Faith

Other Homilies

Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C

Audio Files of Homilies (Simple Catholicism Blog)

Take the Plunge Bible Study (audio resources) *New episodes for Ordinary Time leading up to Lent*

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Other Priests' Homilies, Well Worth Listening:
Fr. Frank Schuster
Fr. Brad Hagelin
Fr. Jim Northrop
Fr. Michael White
Fr Pat Freitag (and deacons of St. Monica)
Bishop Robert Barron

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Other Homilies

Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C

Audio Files of Homilies (Simple Catholicism Blog)

Take the Plunge Bible Study (audio resources) *New episodes for Ordinary Time leading up to Lent*

Are these homilies a help to you? Please consider making a donation to St. Mary of the Valley Parish.

Other Priests' Homilies, Well Worth Listening:
Fr. Frank Schuster
Fr. Brad Hagelin
Fr. Jim Northrop
Fr. Michael White
Fr Pat Freitag (and deacons of St. Monica)
Bishop Robert Barron

And don't miss Catholic Liturgy & Homily Prep

Bulletin (St. Mary of Valley Parish)

Parish Picture Album

(current)

MBC - Mary Bloom Center, Puno, Peru

Home