The readings today speak of the need to do the right thing in our society, to act justly. A simple yet sound definition of Justice is ‘to give to each what is due to them.’ The prophet Amos in the C8th BC in the first reading warns those in authority to act justly and to look after the poor and needy.
“Listen to this, you who trample on the needy and try to suppress the poor people of the country ….” (Amos 8:4)
Luke’s Gospel has Jesus seeking honesty in one’s dealings, being accountable for our actions and not being corrupted by money in this world.
“Draw me up an account of your stewardship” (Lk 16:2)
The effectiveness of our faith is to be seen in how each one of us lives justice and does what is right in our relationships and in our community. The people in Jesus’ time are asking him the question – ‘What GROUP will enter the Kingdom of God?’ Yet, time and time again, Jesus refuses to name a set GROUP that is favoured, instead he explains that Heaven is for those who do JUSTICE in their society, those who give to each what is due to them.
What does this then look like? This will look like a vast array of people of all languages, nationalities, outlooks, religions, lifestyles and viewpoints on all political, social, economic and emotional levels. These people will not necessarily all be able to name JESUS CHRIST. Some will never have heard his name. Yet the one common aspect amongst this magnificent diversity of people who will enjoy the gift of Heaven is that each one of them will have acted justly in their lives. That said, as Christians who have encountered Jesus Christ, this message of acting with Justice should be more easily comprehendible because we have been given this exposure to His love.
We are called to do what is right not because people have a title, be it: Christian; Humanitarian; Muslin; Atheist; Buddhist, etc. We are called to act justly because it is the right thing to do. Whether we know Jesus Christ by name or not, all of humanity has this capacity to do right, to give to each what is due to them.