Tuesday of Week 20 in Ordinary Time
Justice shall march before him and peace shall follow his steps.
I remember one of the most impactful messages I heard from a priest. He said that God is just first, before he is merciful.
In this day and age where we seek to understand individuals based on their circumstances, we sometimes jump to being merciful and ignore being just. And in the end, instead of having a resolution, we end up messing things up. We sometimes tell a white lie because it might be more painful if the person finds out. We sometimes withhold sharing our opinion because we feel that by sharing an unpopular opinion, it will make everyone feel uncomfortable. We sometimes condone acts without even sharing an alternative viewpoint, because it might introduce conflicts. More often, these actions will produce temporary ‘peace’.
But what is justice and what does it mean to be just?
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church,
Justice is the moral virtue that consists in the constant and firm will to give their due to God and neighbour. Justice toward God is called the ‘virtue of religion.’ Justice toward men disposes one to respect the rights of each and to establish in human relationships the harmony that promotes equity with regard to persons and to the common good. The just man, often mentioned in the Sacred Scriptures, is distinguished by habitual right thinking and the uprightness of his conduct toward his neighbour. (CCC 1807)
Everyone deserves the truth, whether that truth will make them sad, or if it will challenge them. They also deserve to know the morality, or immorality, of their actions so they can choose for themselves. And note that we need to share the truth in a charitable way.
We owe ourselves the truth as well. When we learn about the truths of our Faith, we are being just to ourselves. That’s why we need to make it a life project to always learn about God.
And we owe God the truth about what we feel, and where we are in our relationship with him. We have to tell God what we really feel and think of our relationship with him. We need to tell him our reservations, our griefs, our joys, limitations, and everything we can think of.
It takes a lot of courage to be truthful. And the result of it will be peace.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Stephanie Villa)
Prayer: Dearest Lord, please help me be truthful to you and to my neighbours.
Thanksgiving: Thank you, Lord, for being the Truth. And thank you for instituting the Church to guide us towards you.