FIFTEENTH DAY OF LENT
At that time Herod the ruler heard reports about Jesus; and he said to his servants, “This is John the Baptist; he has been raised from the dead, and for this reason these powers are at work in him.” For Herod had arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because John had been telling him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.” Though Herod wanted to put him to death, he feared the crowd, because they regarded him as a prophet. But when Herod’s birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced before the company, and she pleased Herod so much that he promised on oath to grant her whatever she might ask. Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me the head of John the Baptist here on a platter.” The king was grieved, yet out of regard for his oaths and for the guests, he commanded it to be given; he sent and had John beheaded in the prison. The head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, who brought it to her mother. His disciples came and took the body and buried it; then they went and told Jesus. – Matthew 14:1-12
This injustice of the execution of John the Baptist was perpetuated by a political figure for a political purpose in reaction to a political statement. For no other reason, John was imprisoned for demanding just and moral practice by the political leaders. His standing up against injustice was met by that very same spirit of injustice.
In the “Justice Christianus“, justice is not in the whim of the powerful but in the wisdom of the Divine. We as mere mortals can do no more than to act justly and to defend those treated unjustly, for Justice is determined by the moral nature of God. Thus when the powerful seek to define justice on their own terms, then this mortal justice becomes tainted and insufficient, often corrupt and self-serving.
As Christians, we understand that our human form of justice has, is and will always require refinement. Where once we were primitive in our understanding of justice, in the process of God bringing heaven and earth together we refine our mortal sense of justice is we humbly allow it. And where we are now in our present understanding of what is just, will in the future be refined all the more … that is … if we have the humility to move forward in the direction of Divine Perfection.
Justice defined by the powerful can be a dangerous evil. We have seen it to be so, over and over again.
Always in Christ’s Service,
j. e. mcwhinnie