Sustaining Hope: The Call of Justice
When did I get involved in Justice? When I was 11 years old, and my sister Barbara retrieved my baseball glove from a runaway wise guy. My sister had the courage and the love for me, to do this. Justice became first of all a response of love, then courage. In that order.
Continued efforts toward justice were the same. A call of love for those whose life had been taken due to injustice. And the courage to do what needed to be done. That was and is my path. That was and is my hope. Advent, the season in preparation for Christmas is a clear message of Hope, which keeps Hope for Justice alive.
One of the main characters of the pre-Christmas story is John the Baptist. His Hope had a beginning, very early, in his mother’s womb, when he leaped for joy. And the embers were fanned into flame as he made the way straight in his courageous preaching.
Fortunately I was able to be in the company of a Justice Seekers and Justice Doers -Dominican Sisters and Associates. Edgewalkers who saw the needs of people experiencing injustice. Edgewalkers who saw the saving power of a God to make all the difference in the world. Others fanned embers into a fire for justice.
Mind you it is not always easy. How can one hope in the political arena that we are witnessing today? Dismay could be one response.
John the Baptist questioned, possibly with dismay, from his prison cell. “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another.?” And Jesus in his reply affirmed and confirmed John’s hope. “…the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.”
I and we have our journey for justice sustained and deepened.
We see and hear the good news from those working for justice.
Remember the dismantling of the Berlin wall. A very humble beginning, a man with a hammer! We have seen tyrannical dictators and regimes overthrown. We have seen victims of human trafficking freed. We have seen at least a stoppage of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
We have seen Freedom Flotillas go to Gaza time and again to raise the consciousness of the illegal blockade in Palestine/Israel. We have seen and heard. We have had our consciousness raised, and we have done the same for others. We, the Justice seekers, the Justice doers have protested and have been a light in the darkness.
When I was teaching, a 7th-grade student had just heard from Scripture and had the message reiterated by me, that he was a light in the darkness. He asked me- “How do we get lit”? And just as importantly I add: “How do we stay lit.” Along with love and courage, consciousness raising and action, those who work for Justice can be a light in the darkness of our shared belief found in Scripture:
“Glory be to God, whose power working in us, can do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine.” This is how we can sustain Hope with Hope’s two Spirit-filled companions: Faith and Love. This is how to effect Justice in our world.
What do you see and hear? Who are your companions, spiritually and in justice work? How do you get lit and stay lit?
Your response can make all the difference in the world!
Sister Jo-Anne Faillace, OP Justice Seeker and Justice Do-er, Edgewalker.