Pathways - Lent II
Lent II ~ Justice
For many of us the word Justice brings up images, thoughts, or feelings of life situations or relationships being made "right." Justice is a balance in power, and evening up, a this-for-that. As children, we often called it being "fair". If my sister gets a new toy it was only fair that I should too. When we are wronged - we do not get the job we wanted, our child is not chosen in school, our government makes choices we do not like, a family member betrays our trust - we want justice. At the very least, we want the scale balanced, and often we want our offender to pay. Only then will we have the justice we seek. People have thought about justice this way for thousands of years.
But when we meet Jesus of Nazareth, watch his actions, and listen to his words, a different view of justice emerges. It is in Jesus that we begin to know God's sense of justice. Its looks very different than our own, and yet, ironically, it is the only way that the balance and reordering we seek can actually happen. Jesus did not bring about the Kingdom of God by replacing one person over another. Much to his disciples' surprise, he did not replace their oppressors with themselves. Instead he spoke of a way of life where there was NO oppressor and no victim. A kingdom where there is one God and many followers, one shepherd of one flock. He put his talk into practice by socializing with women, acknowledging children, dining with sinners, and calling the enemy friend. Jesus did not live a just life that was aggressive; rather he was assertive. He was not interested in restitution but RESTORATION. As Christians we know justice to be a life that is restored.
Consider the following:
"And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." (Micah 6:8)
"True Justice comes from living in right relationship with God, each other and the world." (Father Hardman)
These quotes exemplify the virtue of Justice and invite us to consider Justice with the eyes of Christ. To do that is to live in a way that our neighbor feels safe. If all of us lived in such a way, think of how different the world might be. To practice the virtue of Justice as Christ taught may seem odd or impossible at times. That is exactly how it is when we try and do it alone. Thankfully, God in Jesus guides us while other companions walk along with us.
For more reflection on the virtue of Justice, you are invited to go here>>>