Daily Reflection
December 18th, 2003
Thomas Kuhlman
University College
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Jeremiah 23:5-8
Psalm 72
Matthew 1:18-25

The state across the river -- Iowa, whose Loess Hills I can see from my front porch -- doesn't often make the front page of the New York Times. But it's on the front page regularly now, because of the upcoming Presidential caucuses here in the United States.  I was reminded of these by today's readings, which directly mention justice six times, and indirectly more than that.

Our 2004 political process will involve justice in innumerable ways.  Whatever their party affiliations, honest citizens will ask for campaigns that address means to just wages, to good education, to adequate and compassionate health care for all.  Issues of transportation and trade, business ethics, and moral accountability in media and entertainment must be addressed.  Most important of all -- and I say this knowing that I may sound like a finalist in a Miss America pageant -- is world peace.

Speaking of pageants, a few days ago I attended a Christmas festival in the cavernous hall of our old Union Station, now a museum.  The theme was ethnic diversity and unity.  Colorful costumes, dances, singing, wonderful foods and fun for all combined to celebrate our city's heritage.  We saw the flags of the Irish, Mexicans, Swedes, Norwegians, Serbs and Croatians, the Scots, the Czechs, Polish, Japanese and Greeks.  Here in our city we were all at peace.  If only, I thought while winding my way across the crowded museum floor, the world itself could know such peace and justice.

Today's Gospel telling us of Joseph's concern about Mary's being with child deals with his sense of peace and justice.  At first, merely from his own point of view, it seemed just that he should "divorce her quietly."  But of course he did not, because an outside voice -- an angel -- told him to stay with her.

We too can use an outside voice when we consider the long election year ahead.  We want the outcome to be just, and the government that follows the election to be just.  The voice we need may not be angelic, like the voice Joseph heard.  But our Scriptures, our Church, and the Holy Spirit promise us that justice shall flourish, and the fullness of peace for ever.  As we pass from Christmas into the New Year, may we resolve to make that promise come true.


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