Posts Tagged ‘Justice’

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after justice….

In 06 Scripture & Theology on 2016/09/16 at 12:00 AM

While the Church has a duty to call attention to the temporal problems of the world that have a moral dimension, it is not her role to solve them. Hers is to satisfy peoples thirst for the restoration of the relationship essential to man by applying the merits of Christ’s life and death through the Sacraments so as to give man the ability to love God and live in union with him. The Church is involved in guiding souls to freedom from eternal death from the claws of the devil and from the seductions of the flesh.

The lay members of the Church in particular have a responsibility to try to see that society’s laws and customs are in accord with the teachings of Christ in education, the home and the workplace.

Each woman has an obligation to make her environment more Christian and to pray for the legislators, government officials and business leaders to solve the major problems that confront society today. While justice is an essential component of resolving problems, it is charity/mercy that is the main component. Mercy/charity enrich and make justice effective.

No Christian woman who hopes to live her faith cannot in political action ever support ideologies or groups which propose false and distorted views of mankind or the dignity and nature of the person or just plain sin

All the fundamental principles of the natural law God implanted in man’s nature must be respected, supported and defended. This means standing firm against contraception, sterilization, abortion, euthanasia, divorce, same-sex unions, and for religious and academic freedoms and property rights.

What is due to a person in justice cannot be considered charity. What is due to a person is a demand of justice. Each person is another Christ and this is particularly so in the case of the weak, the defenseless and the needy. Our hearts need to have compassion for the pains of the injustices that afflict others.

One acknowledges God’s presence in another individual by treating that person with both justice and charity. Each person’s dignity and greatness is derived from God who gives the soul its spiritual reality and who gives meaning to every person’s life.

How can one judge progress in society and science? Very simply: by how the dignity of the person is acknowledged in word and deed. Man is not an economic entity or gadget. He is neither merchandize nor tool but a member of a society with God given rights for the protection of which is the main purpose of laws and governments.

An aspect of justice which is very much ignored in our times is the right to one’s good name. Gossip has become a media staple. Sins by unbridled tongues included envy, negative criticism, slander, calumny; all of which are acts of defamation, whether spoken, broadcasted by the media or printed as well as e-mailed or texted.

Justice towards others in thought and deed must proceed from our hearts if we are to live harmoniously with others. We must beware of partial truths, flawed simplifications, hasty judgments and empty words. At all times we must be open to having our opinions calibrated to truth.

Beware of excessive curiosity and of any intrusion into the private lives of others particularly now that the Internets parades before us the lives and follies of others. Also, beware of false zeal which conceals hypocrisy. When you are with others, beware of falling into making rash judgments of others, gossiping, making false deductions and accusations or revealing the flaws of others that detract and diminish others’ view of them. Be instead actively committed to denounce unjust accusations made of anyone. Reject any type of falsehood in word or cheating in actions. Do not be a gossip or spread rumors. Be scrupulous in respecting others rights to their good name, their property and their possessions. You are your brother’s keeper.


Solemnity of Christ the King

In 05 Homilies by Fr. Reid on 2015/11/27 at 12:00 AM

St. Stephen of Hungary is perhaps not a well‐known saint in the United States, but for Catholics in Eastern Europe, he is a renowned for having made Hungary a Christian nation.

While there are many stories of the saintly way he ruled his country, St. Stephen is beloved in large part because of his generous care for his subjects, most especially the poor.

Because he was the king, St. Stephen would often go about distributing alms to his poor subjects in disguise. One time he was even set upon by a rough band of beggars who beat him up, but nevertheless he continued his generosity to the poor and his love for all his subjects.

Incidentally, while the rest of St. Stephen’s body has decayed, his right hand and arm – which symbolizes his saintly ruling of Hungary – have remained incorrupt, even though he died in 1038!
Sadly, the roll of Catholic saints includes only a relatively short list of men who were kings or monarchs, men such as St. Stephen of Hungary, St. Louis IX of France, St. Henry, St. Edward the Confessor, and St. Wenceslaus.

Each of these men – and all the kings that the Church has recognized as saints – are celebrated as saints for their prudence, justice, generosity to the poor, and their tireless spreading of our Catholic Faith.

In short, kings who become saints are men who put the eternal welfare of the people they govern ahead of their temporal welfare, while not forgetting their temporal needs. They are men who earnestly seek to serve our Lord rather than themselves.

Indeed, the saintly kings are monarchs who understand that there is a power greater than their own to which they are subject, and to which they will someday have to render an account.

These saintly rulers show us that earthly leaders are called to exercise authority over their subjects as Christ does us. They should be strong of will, but gentle of heart. They should be just, but merciful – always seeking and serving the Truth.

A saintly ruler knows that, ultimately, his power is given to him and should be exercised for the benefit of others, and not for his own benefit.

While the list of saintly rulers is relatively short, the list of history’s evil rulers is quite long. Most of us can very easily come up with dozens of names of evil leaders just in the last century: Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein, Mao Tse‐Tung, and Idi Amin, perhaps, being at the top of the list.
Perhaps there have been more evil leaders than saintly ones because holding power over others can be such a corrupting influence on man. The desire to dominate and rule over others is irresistible to some people, and thus temporal power is easily misused.

Indeed, history has borne out the axiom that, if a ruler is not grounded in virtue and dedicated to objective truth, then he will inevitably misuse his power in some way. For when a leader fails to see truth and serve it authentically, he cannot be truly just.

But even if the number of evil rulers in history is much greater than the number of saintly ones, we mustn’t despair, my brothers and sisters, for today’s feast reminds us that Christ is King over all.
While earthly rulers, both good and bad, will come and go, Christ is King for eternity!

Both our first and second reading speak in apocalyptic terms of Jesus’ second coming,
when His kingship will be manifested to every creature.

We are given a sense of the Lord’s omnipotence; we are told that He is “the firstborn of
the dead and ruler of the kings of the earth.” Jesus is “the Alpha and Omega . . . the one
who is and who was and who is to come, the almighty.”

We are told that: “His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not be taken away,
his kingship shall not be destroyed.” Thus, there can be no doubt that our Lord is all‐
powerful, and that He will vanquish all of His enemies in due time.

But the Gospel shows us Jesus’ sovereignty in a different light. In front of Pilate our
Lord appears subject to human authority. And as we all know, the weak Pilate – fearful
of maintaining his own power – condemns our Lord to be crucified.

But despite the appearance of being subject to Pilate’s authority, it is Jesus who, in this
exchange with Pilate, calls His subjects to obedience with kingly authority.

Jesus says: “For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.
Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”

And with these words our Lord calls all of humanity to make a choice as to whom we
will serve in this world. Either we serve Him in truth, or we serve ourselves with the
lies and half‐truths occasioned by pride, vanity, and selfishness.

Truly, today’s feast of Christ the King calls us to recognize the absolute primacy and
power of our Lord, and to humbly submit ourselves to His power – just as He humbly
submitted Himself to an ignoble death on the cross.

As we consider the fact that our Lord is the ultimate authority and that we will all have
to face Him someday as our king, we should ask ourselves now whom it is we serve in this world. Is it Christ the King, or is it ourselves? Or worse yet, have we blithely bought into the deceptions of an earthly leader?

And if we find that we do not serve our Lord whole‐heartedly, we must ask ourselves what it is that keeps us from doing so. Are we weak in faith? Do we not believe that Jesus truly is Lord of all? Are we attached to the things of this world? Or is there a particular sin that we refuse to give up?
My brothers and sisters, Christ is King. One day He will come again with great power and might to claim once and for all His sovereignty over all of creation. But despite His power, He is gentle and humble of heart, full of love for all who call upon Him.

Let us prove ourselves now to be worthy subjects of so great a king. May we rid ourselves of all that keeps us from serving Him as we should, and may we all be ready for that great and terrible day when we will come face to face with Him.

St. Stephen of Hungary, pray for us!
© Reverend Timothy Reid

Fr. Reid is the pastor of St. Ann Catholic Church, Charlotte, NC

Homilies from June 17, 2012 onward have audio .
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25 November 2012