There will arise the sun of Justice with its healing rays.

Malachi 3, 13-20 + Luke 11, 5-13

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Just before Nehemiah left Persia for Jerusalem, a prophet spoke against the injustice and religious indifference of the people of Jerusalem. A very plain spoken man, he wrote a book whose name is "Malachi, which is Hebrew for "My Messenger." The book is almost eerie in its relevance to our days. Like post-exile Jerusalem, we are a people weary of the Lord and His incessant call to justice, mercy, and love. We forget the covenant He made with us, and merrily trod the dead end road of oppression. Malachi speaks movingly of that era's re-write of the law -- "rather we must call the proud blessed."

It would appear that his call to metanoia was a success, he was cultivating the soil of Jerusalem for the arrivals of Ezra and Nehemiah, great leaders of the rebuilding of the city and the re-evangelization of the people of Israel.

Malachi gives us a promise of the victory of Good over Evil, of Justice over Oppression, Mercy over Violence, Humility over Arrogance. For the just, the good, and the beautiful, "there will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays."

Jesus today teaches us of the virtues of patience and persistence, and calls us to pray in faith, believing, and expecting God's answers. (Sometimes we need to pray for the ability to recognize God's answers as answers.) He promises the Holy Spirit to all who call upon the name of the Lord in prayer.

The journeys of justice and peace cannot be without prayer. They are supernatural pilgrimages, like St. Ignatius of Loyola taught: elements of the active and the contemplative life woven together in a harmonious tapestry of love, mercy, beauty, and joy. To rely on the arm of the flesh alone, without recourse to the supernatural realities of our lives is for me to betray the poor, who need the very best that we can give. That "best" -- and even the "better" and the "good enough for our purposes" and the "do what you can, with what you have, where you are" -- is the fruit of the ever-flowing, never empty Cup so freely offered to us. To pray for guidance is to ask for the ability to correctly read the signs of these times. And that leads directly to having the courage to step outside of the culture of death's political categories and commit to a metanoia that seeks to understand the signs of these times from the viewpoint of the Reign of God, right here, right now . . . as in, it's happening all around us, can we open our eyes and see it's every-growing reality?

Today is the celebration of Our Lady of the Rosary. Let us in unity pray the Rosary for the intention of receiving an inner illumination regarding our discernment of the signs of these times. May we open our eyes to see the new Realities that are coming to be during these days. The Jubilee bell is ringing, proclaiming liberty to all who are captives of oppression and injustice. It calls each one of us to free the captives we hold in bondage, to cease from our own individual oppressions, and to do good. Thus the Sun of Justice with its healing rays will rise upon us, bringing light out of darkness at the dawn of this New Day of the Kingdom.

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