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Sandie Cornish Reflecting on The Call to Justice in Scripture.

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1 Sandie Cornish Reflecting on The Call to Justice in Scripture

2 Overview There are many, many texts from both the Hebrew Scriptures and the Gospels concerning social justice. This presentation highlights only a small number of them. It is offered to stimulate reflection on how the Scriptures call us to work for the justice of God’s Reign in the world. You might: Use the whole presentation as a discussion starter for a group Select one slide as a focus for personal or group reflection Choose completely different texts! Created in the Image of God The Story of the Exodus The Jubilee The Prophets The Word Became Flesh Sharing in Jesus’ Mission The Beatitudes The Great Judgement

3 Created in the Image of God The first creation account in Genesis tells us that we are made in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26) We are called to be a sign and instrument of God’s love, as individuals, and as a community of persons. We are called to reflect the perfect community of the Trinity in our social relationships. How do we make God’s love visible?

4 The Story of the Exodus In the Exodus, God takes the side of the oppressed. God saves the whole Hebrew people, not just virtuous individuals. They are set free from unjust economic, political and social processes and structures to be God’s people. The people of the Covenant are to be a model of a new and more just society. (Exodus 22: 21-23) How do we take the side of the oppressed and seek to build Covenant relationships?

5 The Jubilee The jubilee laws in Leviticus 25 are processes to prevent injustice and disadvantage from becoming entrenched, or creation abused. The land is allowed to lie fallow, debts are forgiven and exiles return. How can we honour the spirit of the Jubilee Year today?

6 The Prophets The prophets called the people back to fidelity to the Covenant. Isaiah sees oppression of the weak as an offense against God (Isaiah 1:17-20) Hosea calls the people away from idol worship (Hosea 14: 1 – 3) Amos denounces the religious hypocrisy of the corrupt and powerful (Amos 5: 18-24) Micah denounces the corruption of political and religious leaders (Micah 2: 1- 5) and points to the demands of God (Micah 6:8) What might the prophets say to us today?

7 The Word Became Flesh The Gospels tell the story of how God breaks into human history in a radical way in the Christ event. Everything genuinely human is meaningful, part of salvation history – faith isn’t separate from daily life. God’s extravagant love is expressed in solidarity with human beings. How do we act in solidarity with each other?

8 Sharing in Jesus’ Mission “The Spirit of the Lord has been given to me, for the Lord has anointed me. The Lord has sent me to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives and to the blind new sight, to set the downtrodden free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” Luke 4:18-19 How do we share in this mission?

9 The Beatitudes The beatitudes appear in both Mathew (5:1-12) and Luke (6:20-26). Those who are poor, hungry, grieving, or thirsting for justice are blest because they know their need of God, and God is on their side. Luke includes a series of woes to those who are rich, full or laughing now. What might hunger for the justice of God’s Reign lead us to do?

10 The Great Judgement In Matthew’s scene of the Great Judgement (25: 31 -46) there is just one test of whether one is to be saved or not – how one has treated the hungry, thirsty, homeless, naked, sick and imprisoned. Jesus identifies totally with these people – what we do to them, we do to him. How do we as a society respond to hungry, thirsty, homeless, naked, sick or imprisoned people?

11 Which passages from Scripture do you experience as calling you to live justly and to make your society more just? Imagine the justice of God’s Reign present among us. What would it look like, sound like, and feel like? Scripture is one of the basic sources of Catholic ethics. How does it inform your work for justice in society? For Reflection & Discussion

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