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Take courage, your deliverance is at hand

For more than twenty odd years I saw the stress that loomed large on my parents face. A family dispute which dragged on in the courts of Mumbai had left more than a few wrinkles on their face.

Take courage, your deliverance is at hand

By Fr Warner D’Souza

(Friday, First week of Advent- Is 29:17-24)
For more than twenty odd years I saw the stress that loomed large on my parents face. A family dispute which dragged on in the courts of Mumbai had left more than a few wrinkles on their face.

The situation seemed bleak for we were on the verge of losing our home. What vexed me the most was the corruption of the legal system in the nation’s courts. It is no secret that corruption runs deep and the pockets of crooked judges and lawyers run deeper.

In all of this my parents clung on to their faith in God and in His time a settlement was reached. We made a decision to walk away with God gave us even though by human standards it was an unfair settlement. My parents found peace and celebrated their Golden Jubilee of the wedding last year. We as a family continue to be blessed by God.

I write this because so many people are locked in court battles. Many of them are innocent victims suffering at the hands of greedy relatives, neighbours and unscrupulous people. The stress and strain is heightened even more by corruption and then there is often what seems to be the silence of God.

Where is God we ask? Why does he not strike our enemies and redeem us from our pain? Why does evil seem to prosper and the just person suffer? Today’s first reading which is a continuation of the promises of God to the house of Jacob addresses the promise of God. He promises never to abandon us. Yesterday’s reading asked us to keep our mind on Him and He will keep us in peace. Today God promises his vengeance on those tyrants who scoff at his faithful.

One group of tyrants and scoffers are singled out in today’s reading; “those who cause a person to lose a lawsuit, the one who sets a trap for the arbiter at the gate and those who deny justice to the one who is right.” (Verse 21) God does not forget the cries of His people and He will come to rule the earth and judge it in fairness.

Remember that we are in the season of Advent, a season when we are reminded that the second coming of Jesus will take place. We may delude ourselves and think that the Lord has not come for two millennia and so it is unlikely that He will ever come.

The scoffers and tyrants delude themselves and continue to oppress God’s elect. Here in lies their folly, for God always keeps His word and woe be to those who are found wanting when He comes.

To those who suffer much at the hands of the evil men and women, I want to afford you the hope of the Lord. Remember that the oppressors of the house of Jacob ruled over them with viciousness but alas where are the Assyrians and Babylonians today? Look back into your life and you will acknowledge that those who once tormented you have met their downfall. Those who delude themselves with human power will soon come to realize that all is transient and they will face the judgment of God.

So take courage, hold fast and stand erect, for your deliverance is at hand.

(Fr. Warner D'Souza is the priest-in-charge, St. Jude Church, Malad East) (Used with permission)

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