Commentary on the Gospel of

John Shea, S.J.-Creighton University's Biology Department

When I read about global climate change, the following refrain from Wisdom echoes in my heart: “For all creation, in its several kinds, was being made over anew.”

As I write this, four people were killed by a California wildfire that burned over 800 acres. Typhoon Hagibis dumped over 35 inches on Japan, resulting in floods that killed over 70 people. And, despite it being so late into the hurricane season, the National Hurricane Center is tracking three storms in the Atlantic that have the potential to become major hurricanes. Although these are natural disasters, human induced global climate change has made such disasters more frequent and more severe. Addressing such injustice, on a global scale, is daunting. And yet, I persist. I try to make life-style changes that will decrease my carbon footprint.

In today’s Gospel, the widow persists in her pursuit of justice with the crooked judge. This is a tough widow and she eventually wears down the worldly judge who renders a just decision. Luke connects this parable with the theme of perseverance in prayer: “pray always without becoming weary.” But the parable is also clearly about the pursuit of justice. We often pray for justice, but how often do we see our pursuit of justice as prayer?

When we’re truly convinced that injustice must be addressed, no matter the odds, then we’ll persist in our pursuit of justice. And this conviction comes from God. As Christians, God calls each of us to work for justice, to hear the cry of the poor and to love the most vulnerable in our society. This may manifest itself differently in each person and we each need to discern how and where God is calling us. Only then does our work for justice becomes a prayer as we discover our calling. God’s calling ignites a fire within our hearts, deepening our calling so we “pray always without becoming weary.” God gives us the energy to pursue justice with persistence like the widow.


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