TWENTY-FIFTH DAY OF LENT
“Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye. – Matthew 7:1-5
Justice begins with self-examination and our own confession, leading to the clearing of our moral vision and the empathy gained by our own experience. To otherwise is to judge unjustly.
In the “Justice Christianus“, we are cautioned that justice can be confounded by the flaws in our own moral vision. Without this first dealing with the log in our eye, we cannot possibly be able to fairly and effectively to remove the speck in another person’s eye. Justice in the “Justice Christianus” requires a clarity of vision that does not come naturally to our mortal, moral nature. Without the cleansing of waters from places Divine, our efforts at justice will be thwarted by our own sinfulness: self-interest, vengeance, prejudice, cultural bias, even ignorance and lack of a divinely endowed judicial-temperament.
We need to be made right before we can dare to judge righteously. We need to behold the circumstance and the case clearly, unfiltered by our pre-conceived notions and unbalanced perspective.
History has shown that judges with political bias tend to distort justice. History has shown that judges with pre-set agendas tend to distort justice. History has shown that judges who fail to lift their discernment to a much loftier standard of objectivity fall short of fair justice and fair mercy as is found in the heart and mind of the Divine.
The Spanish Inquisition exemplifies the injustice and horror that comes with judges with zealous crusade in their purpose. The courts of Hitler’s Nazi regime are now viewed with sickening disgust at how the judges were the henchmen of the tyranny. And in so many milder forms less dramatic, we have witnessed justice being meted out by a system of justice compromised by the splinters in their hearts.
In Christ, we must ever be mindful that justice must always begin with God cleansing our vision.
Always in Christ’s Service,
Fr. Charitas de la Cruz