8 Dec 2019, 2nd Sunday Advent, Cycle A-2020, Is 11:1-10 + Rom 15:4-9 + Mt 3:1-12

Not by appearance shall he judge not by hearsay shall he decide (Is 11:3b).

Not by appearance shall he judge, nor by hearsay shall he decide (Is 11:3b).

Despite volumes written about justice, its concept remains contentious. An attribute of justice that is common to all thinkers is that it must conform to a standard law.

Since human law varies from nation to nation, and changes from generation to generation, human law is not a firm standard. The Divine Law, however, changes not, so it is fitting to measure justice in conformity to Divine Law.

Justice is distinct from fairness. Justice conforms to unchangeable Divine Law; hence, it is objective, and it is absolute. Fairness, on the contrary, conforms to changeable human law; hence, it is subjective, and it is relative.

The Word of God summarized the standard Divine Law in what is known as the Golden Rule, “Do unto others whatever you would have them do unto you (Mt 7:12).” Justice is giving someone his due according to the Divine Law (cf. CCC, 1836). Summarized by paraphrasing the Golden rule, justice is “Due unto others whatever you would have them due unto you.”

Just like the Word of God excluded from the Golden Rule any retaliation, “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” (Mt 5:38-39), justice excludes retaliation. VSS

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