Tuesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
(I Kings 21:17-29; Matthew 5:43-48)
For practical purposes Ahab gets away with murder in today’s first reading. He witnesses the treachery of his wife but does nothing to stop her. He appropriates Naboth’s garden like a bandit. He even repents of his crime and does not face retribution. The story sounds incredible but there is a parallel happening today.
The wealthy in our society are creating safe havens for themselves while leaving the poor in misery. They construct gated communities where they are shielded from the plight of the less fortunate. They send their children to the best schools while education for the poor often lacks funding. Their politicians and economic advisors make available ways to avoid paying taxes. But they become outraged if a poor person uses food stamps to buy a sirloin steak. Meanwhile the wealthy are more likely found in church thanking God for the good life they have. Where is the justice of it all?
We find justice in Jesus Christ. He insists that his followers take care of the poor. More than that, we are called to be the source of reconciliation. We are to work for the unity between rich and poor, women and men, black and white. If we forsake this responsibility, our posterity will face the social turmoil that Ahab’s descendants experienced. We pray now for the virtues of justice and prudence to bring about social peace.