Theme of the Week: Justice

Monday 12th October: What is Justice?

Sign of the Cross: 

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Definition of the word justice: “the quality of being fair and reasonable”

Justice is a term used for what is right or “as it should be.” Justice and righteousness are often used synonymously in the Bible.

Scripture Reading:

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” – Matthew 5:6

Since righteousness is the quality or character of being right or just, it is another attribute of God and incorporates both His justice and holiness.

In our world, justice and the common good are built up or torn down day by day in the countless decisions and choices we make. To pursue justice is not simply an individual task, justice cannot be carried forward alone, but only as members of a community called to be the “leaven” of the Gospel.

Prayer:

Let us pray:

Father, you have given all peoples one common origin.

It is your will that they be gathered together

as one family in yourself.

Fill the hearts of mankind with the fire of your love

and with the desire to ensure justice for all.

By sharing the good things you give us,

may we secure an equality for all

our brothers and sisters throughout the world.

May there be an end to division, strife and war.

May there be a dawning of a truly human society

built on love and peace.

We ask this in the name of Jesus, our Lord.

Amen.

 

Tuesday 13th October: Happiness is the Key

Justice is a hard word because we tend to associate it with a strict balance. It would be better to see it as that which enables us to be happy with God and our fellow men. Happiness is the key, and in this reading from St. Paul‟s letter to the Christians at Philippi, we hear Paul‟s recipe for justice and peace – tolerance, lack of worry, gratefulness and truth. It is a recipe worth thinking about.

Scripture Reading:

“Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the centre of your life.

Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realised. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.”

Prayer

Let us pray:

Lord God, our Father,
it is your will that justice and peace should embrace.
We pray that we may discover
the thirst for justice
that brings peace in its wake.
We make this prayer
with the Man of Justice and Peace, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Amen.

 

Wednesday 14th October: Imitating God’s Justice

Sign of the Cross: 

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Scripture Reading:

Give justice to the poor and the orphan; uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute.
Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.

-Psalm 82

Reflection: 

Notice that God is especially concerned that those who are powerless in society receive justice. These are the ones who are most easily forgotten or abused. Yet God instructs us to pay special attention to them. This reflects his own compassion and love for the poor, the orphan, and the foreigner (for example, Deut. 10:17-18; Ps. 146:7-9). When we seek justice for those who are weak and marginalized, we not only obey God, but also imitate God.

All of us must live out in our daily lives the basic instructions of Psalm 82. In our work and our volunteering, in our giving and our voting, in our decision-making and our relationships, we must “give justice to the poor and the orphan” and “uphold the rights of the oppressed and destitute.”

Prayer:

Dear Lord, how easy it is for me to forget the imperatives of Psalm 82. It’s not that I am intentionally mistreating the poor and the oppressed. But I can forget about those who are weak, thus neglecting your call to justice. Forgive me, Lord, for my narrowness of vision and hard-heartedness.

Help me, Lord, to know how I am supposed to put Psalm 82 into practice. Show me where, in my daily life, I have the opportunity—indeed, the calling—to do justice. Give me open eyes and a tender heart for those who are weak and powerless.

Today, I also want to pray for my leaders in all levels of government. Give them wisdom, Lord, to know how best to seek justice for those who need it most. Help them look beyond partisan advantage and personal advancement in order to do what’s right.

All praise and glory be to you, God of justice and mercy! Amen.

Thursday 15th October: Four Reasons Why Justice Matters to God

Sign of the Cross: 

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Reflection: 4 Reasons Why Justice Matters to God

1. We’re all equal before God

Humans are made in God’s image and stand equally before God in our great variety . To God, no one is greater or lesser.

2. God is a God of justice

In the Bible, God is always acting in history to set relationships right, defend the poor, the weak and the oppressed. In fact, God is the very manifestation of justice and mercy.

3. Justice is ‘structural’ love

Justice is fairness embedded in the structures of society, such as our school. Biblical justice goes further than strict justice, and is saturated with God’s grace, mercy and forgiveness. It is structural love.

4. No peace without justice

The Good News is all about reconciliation, the setting right of all relationships. But there is no peace without justice, as is clear in international relations.

In the cloth of the gospel, God’s justice and forgiveness are seamlessly interwoven.

Let us pray:

Almighty God, you have given all peoples one common origin, and your will is to gather them as one family in yourself. Fill the hearts of all with the fire of your love and the desire to ensure justice for all our sisters and brothers. By sharing the good things you give us, may we secure justice and equality for every human being, and a human society built on love and peace, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

Friday 16th October: Am I A Just Person?

Sign of the Cross: 

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Scripture Reading:

“You do well when you complete the Royal Rule of the Scriptures: “Love others as you love yourself.”

Talk and act like a person expecting to be judged by the Rule that sets us free. For if you refuse to act kindly, you can hardly expect to be treated kindly. Kind mercy wins over harsh judgment every time.

Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it?

For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you?”

Reflection: Am I A Just Person?

Being Self Centred: For a minute have a think about the ways you focus only on yourself, on your needs and desires, throughout the day/month/year.

Being Christ-Centred: Now think about all the ways you focus on the needs of others, how you gave yourself to others, throughout the day/ month/year.

Let us pray:

Grant us, Lord God, a vision of your world as your love would have it:

a world where the weak are protected, and none go hungry or poor;

a world where the riches of creation are shared, and everyone can enjoy them;

a world where different races and cultures live in harmony and mutual respect;

a world where peace is built with justice, and justice is guided by love.

Give us the inspiration and courage to build it, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.