NINETEENTH DAY OF LENT
Then Jesus said, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.” – Matthew 23:23,24
Priorities, proper priorities, the same priorities that are held by the Good Lord, these too are a part of the “Justice Christianus“. Injustice can be found in the priorities of a person, an institution, a community, a nation, a world, when those priorities are not arranged in accordance with the Love of God.
And what are these Divine priorities? According to Christ, justice, mercy, and faithfulness. These are the first things before all other things. Or to paraphrase Jesus from another teaching moment …“Seek ye first the ways of the New Realm of God and THEN all other things that you do actually need will come in their time.”
In the “Justice Christianus“, the Divine Providence comes not for the sake of one or even the more faithful … but to all. In the “Justice Christianus“, the Divine Mercy is bestowed not for the sake of one person, but for all persons, a healing of not merely an individual but of all who are in need. In the “Justice Christianus”, the Divine Grace does not fall only upon my barley field, but the barley fields of all.
The Higher Priorities are the fulfillment of God’s Love, the care of God’s children, the administration of fair justice, a justice tempered with mercy, the tending to God’s Creation out of a reverent expression of thankfulness, reconciling people with other people and all people with God. These Higher Priorities are for the sake of what is called God’s Peaceable Kingdom.
But alas, we emphasize the lesser things to the detriment of the greater things. Gaining worldly power, gaining worldly fame, gaining worldly wealth, these are not the priorities of the Christ and His vision of the New Realm.
Always in Christ’s Service,
Fr. Charitas de la Cruz