Parenting For Peace And Justice -- By: James And Kathleen Mcginnis

Journal: Faith and Mission
Volume: FM 04:1 (Fall 1986)
Article: Parenting For Peace And Justice
Author: James And Kathleen Mcginnis

Parenting For Peace And Justice

James And Kathleen Mcginnis

Institute for Peace and Justice
St. Louis, Missouri

“Let justice flow” (Am 5:24), “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice” (Mt 5:6). The message of Jesus and the Old Testament prophets calls parents as well as others to find ways of teaching and living justice in our homes and in our world.

We take this message seriously for several reasons. We experience it as a call from Jesus, and thus we look for ways of integrating social action with prayer and the liturgical year. We have been inspired by other families and individuals who give themselves for the gospel, people who support as well as challenge us and who break open our imaginations to possible ways of working for justice. In a community of faith we find the courage we need to respond to Jesus” call. Further, we have been touched by the victims of injustice, whose persons and suffering have gotten inside of us and given us a deep sense of urgency.

But beyond these reasons, we take the message and call seriously because we find we are enriched as a family. By working together in the world, as a family, we parents are growing and learning right along with our children. The time together as a family that is necessary to explain, choose, plan and pray over family social actions fosters family community. Sometimes we discover new dimensions of one another’s person and appreciate one another more in the process. We deepen our sense of family identity, significance, and pride by participating together in the church’s social mission. There are numerous possibilities for families. The following examples of teaching justice by living and doing justice are organized around what we identify as the four components of justice.1 The second section of this article will focus on peacemaking possibilities for families. The final part will offer resources and strategies for pastors, adult educators, and others who work with families on encouraging families to make peacemaking and justice-seeking an integral part of family life.

Part 1

Component I: Sufficient Goods For Life

Justice entitles every person to the basic economic necessities of life, for God created the earth’s resources for the development of all persons. God’s special love for the economically poor, so evident in the Scriptures, can become part of family action in a variety of ways. The Lenten season is particularly an appropriate time for such action. We are called to respond to Jesus as he suffers in the world today.

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