ELEVENTH DAY OF LENT
While Jesus was still speaking to the four disciples in the garden, suddenly a crowd came, and the one called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss Him; but Jesus said to him, “Judas, is it with a kiss that you are betraying the Son of Man?” When those who were around Him saw what was coming, they asked, “Lord, should we strike with the sword?” Then one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him. – Luke 22:47-51
The injustice carried out by Judas goes by the name of “treachery”; the injustice carried out by Peter goes by the name of “violence”. And in the Justice Christianus “treachery” is replaced with “transparency”, “violence” is replaced with “due process”.
Adam and Eve hid in the garden lest the Lord make known their guilt. If they had not hidden, I sense that mercy would have mediated their punishment of exile from the garden for the first question asked by the Lord was not, “What have you done?” but rather “Why were you hiding?” I personally think the course of the story would be more about God revealing the nature of conscience and guilt than about the Fall.
Cain slew Abel. In the Biblical story, the introduction of humanity’s problem with violence and vengeance which in turn provokes more violence, the first question asked by the Lord was not “What have you done, Cain?” but rather “Where is your brother, Abel?” If Cain would have directed his frustration with his feelings of failure and rejection with the Lord Himself, Cain might have gained a greater self-awareness. Through his prayerful conversation with God Cain would have found a just satisfaction of his grievance through due process. But instead … Cain resorted to violence to satisfy his wounded pride.
Transparency and due process … are both necessary in Christian justice. In our relationship with God, we confess and repent. In our relationship with others, we seek mercy and reconcile. Though the world in its instinctive reasoning gives license to treachery and violence; not so in the “Justice Christianus”.
Always in Christ’s Service,
Fr. Charitas de la Cruz