February 20: World Day of Social Justice
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on this day last year: "In this crucial year for global development, let us do our utmost to eradicate all forms of human exploitation. Let us build a world of social justice where all people can live and work in freedom, dignity and equality.”
If the above call to action feels overwhelming, that’s understandable. How can one person make a difference in bringing about a world of social justice?
Each of us can truly make a difference in the world if we all do our part. When the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto said to donors that we needed clothing, furniture, and household items for the Syrian newcomer families we are sponsoring, people responded with overwhelming generosity. Each of those who replied to this call did something to bring about a world of social justice!
If you feel discouraged by the scale of our world's problems, think of the story of the lion and the mouse from Aesop's Fables. In this tale, a lion caught by hunters in a net is freed by a tiny mouse who nibbles a hole through the net for the lion to escape.
Remember that when each of us nibbles away at the net of injustice in the world, we make a difference. Here are some nibbles you can take to promote social justice this month:
- When buying gifts this year, make sure your chocolate and flower purchases are fair trade
- Look into the labour and environmental practices of your favourite stores and brands
- Pray for the healing of blindness of those who can see only profits and not human beings
Jesus, in this year of Mercy, we hear your call to us to join You in Your desire to free the prisoners from the slavery of being used as commodities, and free their abusers too.
By Sister Gwen Smith