Justice is an aspect of compassion. Justice, if you like, is the public face of compassion. You cannot have religion without justice. You can’t retreat into private meditation. You have to be concerned with society. The real question of all religions in the 21st century is not doctrinal. The real question is can we bring healing to our world? If religions fail to use their own peaceable traditions for others, respect for the stranger, if they cannot make a potent voice in the world, then they will have failed the test of the 21st century.
But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
Think of the issues dividing this country- immigration, racism, poverty, political; corruption, climate change, and so many more. Reflect on Karen Armstrong’s words. Do you agree? Are you living by your religious beliefs or by your political persuasion? If so, what does that imply for you?
Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.
With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Past the seeker as he prayed came the crippled and the beggar and the beaten. And seeing them…he cried, “Great God, how is it that a loving creator can see such things and yet do nothing about them?”…God said, “I did do something. I made you.”
Without justice and love, peace will always be the great illusion.
Archbishop Hélder Pessoa Câmara