Joseph Jansen, SM
This work was printed by Saragossa Publications, and it is being distributed by NACMS.
We are called to be uncomfortable, according to Brother Joseph Jansen, SM. The Marianist Charism calls us to action in our Christian faith to bring forth justice. This short read challenges us to consider our solidarity with the poor, no matter how we define the poor, and to respond to injustice with faith as Mary did. He says, "We cannot claim the name of Christian and be comfortable in the face of pollution, contamination, hunger, homelessness, insecurity, and injustice . . . maldistribution, maldevelopment, overconsumption, structural reform, poverty, social disintegration. . . ." This book offers great insight into how the charism is already alive in our work, and further challenges us to live the charism.
Our faith is a faith that does justice. Many Social Concerns committees sit around talking about justice. Too easy! Too safe! In a recent retreat for our Associates' lay community of faith, I challenged them. "Isn't your faith community too secure? Too comfortable? Much too safe and lily white?" Faith is not just sitting around having good feelings about God or neighbor. The ding of justice is not the application of religious faith, but its very substance; without it, God remains unknown. There is no division between theory and praxis, between faith and the doing of justice. Because God has identified with all, especially with "the least" and because every person is a true image of God, response to God in faith and response to neighbor in love and solidarity are inseparable. Therefore, the Christian finds in every person God Himself and God's absolute demand for justice and love. The 1971 Synod Fathers hit the nail on the head when they said: Action on behalf of justice and participation in the transformation of the world fully appear to us as a constitutive dimension of the preaching of the Gospel, or, in other words, of the church's mission for the redemption of the human race and its liberation from every oppressive situation.
Lord, increase our faith, enliven our faith, inflame it with your Holy Spirit as we enroot it in the soil of our daily life.