I have no notes from yesterday's homily, just a mental outline, which I'll try to share with you here:
1. The first reading from Sirach tells us "God is a God of justice" and will answer prayers for justice "without delay." Yet look around: does it seem that justice is being accomplished "without delay"? What's missing?
2. God has, it seems, put a great deal of responsibility on us to accomplish justice. Yes, he will eventually intervene and bring total justice--but we call that the end of the world, and that means the end of our chance; in the meantime, we have a mission to seek justice.
3. We also have rights that St. Paul, in his time, would never have dreamed of. We get to choose our elected officials--the emperor, in Paul's time, was not subject to recall; and if Paul had written a letter to the "Roman Daily Call," saying the emperor had to go, that'd have been the end of Paul.
4. If we don't know how to work for justice, if we start looking for opportunities, we will find them. The examples I will mention won't exhaust the list...
5. This mission from God to seek justice is why we Catholics will never be silent about justice for the unborn (and at one or two Masses, I described the work of the Elizabeth New Life Center in Sidney, helping women who face pressure to get abortions--and asked, what about justice for women so they aren't pressured); this is why we must advocate for the poor and for those in the margins.
6. I cited and described the situation of illegal immigrants in this country, working in the shadows. No, we're not happy about the violation of immigration law; but in the meantime, migrant workers are vulnerable, because if someone cheats them, what do they do? We have to put heat on the politicians to fix this mess.
7. I described the principle of the common good; that when we look at how we vote, we don't just look out for our individual interests, but what's good for all of us. Gave the example of base closings: Wright Patterson grew because of it, and it was supposed to be good for the taxpayer; other states were unhappy, but we benefited. What if the President announced that moving Wright Patterson's operations elsewhere would be good for the taxpayer? We hope it never happens; but the decision has to be about what's good for everyone, not just about our own benefit.
8. I talked about solidarity with those outside our country; citing the example of Haiti and the cholera threat--all due to the failure of those in power there to address the damage from the earthquake adequately. Who will advocate for those poor people in Haiti? We can--by contacting our government and insisting our government keep the heat on the government in Haiti.
9. We know God seeks justice speedily; when we stand before him at our judgment, he will ask how we did. What will we say?