The Hope of Justice

Hope and justice on the surface feel like two very distinct, and separate, things.

Hope carries a mysteriousness, that effort we conjure in the face of the most difficult times. Justice on its face feels like a concrete and clear reckoning, a reprisal. But together, connected within the context of faith, we see hope and justice work in tandem to express God’s will, love, and mercy.

The grace of God comes to us in similar ways. God’s grace is a blessing, a gift of light from His generous love—given to us unconditionally, freely with no strings attached. This can be a challenging concept to keep at the forefront of our minds in daily routines. It is not a gift that manifests itself in ways we can see or touch. It is a gift that opens, nurtures, strengthens, and supports all who we are as children of God.

Whenever justice is enacted, there is an inherent element of hope. For example, we help young people and children by giving them structure, boundaries. It may feel to them like punishment, to be kept from what they desire (a later curfew or more screen time). Yet it is precisely our hope in their growth and maturing that we impose a different way for them (and withstand the pushback!). God does this for all of us, too, in setting our guiding commandments to follow and in gifting us the practices of our faith. He believes in the capacity of all of His children to become just as powerfully good as any saint—His hope in us becomes our hope in and vision for ourselves.

Devotion to St. Jude inspires the kind of ongoing dedication to hope from which the Christian call to justice can grow. The power of prayer through St. Jude, from simple “pray for us” moments to more involved Novena prayer, provides meaningful fruit in the way of consciousness of the needs of others. Tending to those needs are the heart of justice. Believing those needs can indeed be tended to for the better is the heart of hope. We seek justice through prayer with petitions and intercessions, through time spent giving to others, and by accepting our personal responsibility to turn outward in an awareness of the needs all around us. Our devotion provides us with the strength to seek and to believe in the positive outcomes of our hope.

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