There is no doubt in my mind that God has a plan for each of our lives. Equally, there is no doubt that it has something to do with being an example of righteous living for others. In this excerpt from the Prophet Isaiah we hear the prophet telling the people of God that they have been called to ‘serve the cause of right.’ What do we think this might mean?

One thing for sure is that we can know that our task will not be easy. Every person who has lived a life of justice, or a life fighting for the justice of others, will tell you that there are many obstacles that have to be overcome in such tasks. Making justice the goal of our lives is a choice that will bring suffering to us as such a choice will always involve confronting sin in one way or another. Sin is fundamentally unjust, thus to live a just life will mean overcoming sin in our lives and in the world. It will mean that we have chosen to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow in the footsteps of Jesus. It will mean that the life we have chosen is one of discipleship with Jesus as our Lord and Master.

Isaiah’s prophecy is seen as one of the four Servant Songs of Yahweh, passages speaking prophetically about a figure who is to come to restore the moral reign of the Kingdom of God. Sometimes this figure seems to be an individual, and at other times he seems to have a corporate personality. Thus it is not a matter of living a just life on our own; we do it with the help and support of others! It is as a member of the Church we strive for holiness and justice and the Church is not true to herself unless she is fully given to this task. Neither the Church nor any disciple of Jesus can be seen to be one with the world and its values. We must always stand as a counter-cultural witness that points to the deeper realities of the Kingdom of Heaven, rather than becoming consumed with the passing realities and pleasures of this world. This is our mission as men and women who have chosen to follow Jesus.

Do I realize that the path of a disciple of Jesus is one filled with difficulty and suffering as well as joys and happiness?

Holy Spirit, help me always to look beyond the present moment of hardship to see the reward of eternal life you offer to those who remain faithful to your call.