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Help the world: Work for justice

January 14th, 2009


“If you want Peace, work for Justice.”
– Pope Paul VI, Jan. 1, 1972

Always, but especially now at the beginning of a new year, this is wise counsel for every member of the human family, of every religious persuasion (or none) – Peace defined broadly, i.e., not just the absence of war but the pervasive presence of justice. Justice defined broadly, i.e., the common good; that is, the situation in which everyone’s rights are respected, everyone’s responsibilities are acquitted, everyone’s needs are met, everyone’s talents can be developed along the lines of excellence.

So, do you want:

  • The common good to be the common goal of the entire human family? – Work for justice.
  • An end to war as a means of conflict resolution? – Work for justice.
  • A world free of nuclear weapons? –  Work for justice.
  • An end to the abuse and exploitation of our natural resources that threaten our very existence? – Work for justice.
  • A pro-life community that is truly pro-life and not just pro-birth? – Work for justice.
  • The number of abortions as close to zero as possible (regrettably there will always be some, with or without Roe)? – Work for justice.
  • An end to the sordid reality of 13 million children in the richest nation on the planet going to bed hungry? – Work for justice.
  • Every child ready to succeed in school and every school succeeding in educating every child? – Work for justice.
  • A moral, humane, life-giving solution to every immigration issue? –  Work for justice.
  • The “cradle-to-prison-pipeline” that will afflict 1 in 3 black and 1 in 6 Latino boys born in 2001 dismantled? – Work for justice.
  • A rational military budget? – Work for justice.
  • An end to genocide in Darfur? –  Work for justice.

French philosopher Albert Camus once declared: “We cannot create a world in which no innocent child suffers, but we can create a world in which fewer innocent children suffer.” Indeed we can, if everyone in Brownsville and everywhere else does the best one can with what one has where one is in pursuit of the justice that leads to peace.

Armand Mathew, OMI
Brownsville, Texas

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