(Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time)
Sunday, October 23, 2016.
Who is righteous?
Righteous is the one who “hears the cry of the oppressed. He is not deaf to the wail of the orphan, nor to the widow when she pours out her complaint” (Sirach 35:13, 14).
Righteousness is a way of life, which consists of our total commitment to serve our fellow human beings, especially those who are afflicted by adversity or injustice. The righteous person is concerned with the welfare of others, not his own. He is not motivated by public praise, but by the love of God, who lives in him and in every person.
The righteous person is aware of his own limitations and the effectiveness of the service he offers to his fellowmen. He is always in front of God and is the recipient of God’s strength.
The one who lacks righteousness, on the other hand, sees his own welfare as more important than anybody else’s. He usually creates his own standard of righteousness, which excludes everybody else, leaving him at the center of humanity. Even more, he considers himself to be above all others; he is “not like the rest of humanity – greedy, dishonest, adulterous” (Luke 18:11).
In our world, those who possess worldly power and those who accumulate wealth for themselves, usually present themselves as being righteous before the eyes of the people, even though they lack righteousness.
The one who “despises everyone else” (Luke 18:9) or is indifferent to the needs of others, and is still convinced of his own righteousness, is convinced only of a great lie! He believes he is “right”; he believes he represents the goal of humanity; he proclaims he is the model for everybody to follow and imitate.
(By Jesús A. Diez Canseco)