- as one of the moral and infused moral virtues, justice is a disposition which renders to everyone whatever is due to them
- is not based on status or merit, but on the infinite mercy of God
- spurs forgiveness of others, not judgment or punishment
- MC: 95-96
Justification and sanctification are gifts and have nothing to do with social status or personal merit. Over the centuries, a secular standard of values crept into Christian teaching in the form of an elaborate system of merit and earning heavenly rewards. But loving God, which is the primary and chief duty of Christians, is not concerned about rewards or merits, but about compassion for others in whom Christ dwells.
Justice is a necessary predisposition for peace. Justice is the basis for the higher teachings that Jesus gives to the peacemakers. Justice renders to everyone their due. Without treating people rightly, the chances of peace in any social situation are greatly reduced.
Ordinary standards of justice do not explain how God’s kingdom works. We enter the kingdom by consenting to the invitation, not by acts of merit. The inner nature of God is made manifest to us and His favor and mercy is evoked in direct proportion to our lack of inner and outer resources. Therefore, the kingdom is not based on human standards of justice and equity, but on the mercy of God whose principal need is to respond to the desperate state of the human condition.
Accept the dark side of your personality. Take note of the feelings that hinder your relationships and your efforts to forgive and not to judge. God approaches us all day long, meeting us through people, events and our own thoughts, feelings, memories and reactions. We accept the kingdom, not because we are just or deserve it, but because at some point we cannot resist the urgent call of grace, and we say to God, “take over my life.”
Individuals who are persecuted for justice sake have a special claim to the reign of God and to the fullness of happiness. In oppressive circumstances, we are called to accept what is, but God may also suggest that we try to correct, improve, or change unjust structures or oppressive situations.
Justice is the foundation for peace.
Which feelings hinder your ability to forgive or to forgo judgment? How does your sense of justice contribute to peace?
Accept and forgive. “Judge not and you shall not be judged.” (Jesus)