FIRST DAY OF LENT
Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” – Luke 23:24
In the midst of a cruel injustice, in a place where the executioners killed an innocent man, in a time when truth was of no matter, Christ bestows forgiveness on “them”. But who are the these whom Christ forgives? The Roman soldiers who were only following orders? The mocking passers-by that were blinded by the lies? The clergy and political leaders that thought their ends justified their means? The holy “devout” who were concerned about other matters? The power that corrupts? The societal indifference? The fallen nature of humanity?
Justice is defined in many ways and each way has its nuance. Retributive justice that seeks to punish those who have done wrong; procedural justice that attempts to assure that just processes are followed to achieve an impartial decision; restorative justice that seeks to bring back into “rightness” the consequences of a harmful act; distributive justice that insures a rightful and fair share of the common wealth. But during this Lenten season I offer another definition of justice, “Justice Christianus”, the new form of justice to be practiced in the New Realm of God.
“Justice Christianus” is both restorative and redemptive. “Justice Christianus” is both providential and distributive. “Justice Christianus” is both merciful and transformative. “Justice Christianus” involves the processes of conscience, consciousness and conviction, the processes of confession, repentance, and forgiveness; the processes of new beginnings and hopeful ends, resurrection and sanctification.
Being ever mindful of the injustice inflicted upon Christ, we will deeply contemplative how by the God’s transformative power that this cruel injustice became a means of a new form of justice, a Divine justice that seeks to save the world and not condemn it.
Always in Christ’s Service,
Fr. Charitas de la Cruz