October 3

Reflection

A central imperative in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam is doing justice. Justice applies to the whole range of human interactions, and now we also realize that it is an imperative in our treatment of animals and the environment. It means that we deal fairly with others, recognizing their equality and dignity. We act justly when we work to insure that all others, especially the poor and the weak, have access to what is their right. It assumes that none of us is respected until all of us are. There is also a danger we must avoid. In our zeal for justice we cannot ignore the rights and dignity of those who oppose us. If we do this, instead of seeking justice we are in danger of becoming fanatics.

Prayer

May there be justice here and now.

Action

Name injustices when you see them. Speak boldly.

Suggested Reading

I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy.
Psalm 140:12

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cummin. 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.”
Matthew 23:23

None of us can think we are exempt from concerns for the poor and for social justice.
Pope Francis

Social justice cannot be attained by violence. Violence kills what it intends to create.
Pope John Paul II

Love must be translated into simple justice.
Jimmy Carter

This spiritual journey is often characterized by an intense passion for justice and liberation, especially in the face of exploitation and deprivation. The desire for justice is motivated not merely by the plight of appalling suffering, but by a deeper sense that love and well-being must prevail in the end.
Diarmuid O’Murchu

More than a few Christians might be surprised to learn that the call to be involved in creating justice for the poor is just as essential and nonnegotiable within the spiritual life as is Jesus’ commandment to pray and keep our private lives in order.
Ronald Rolheiser

Rats and roaches live by competition under the laws of supply and demand; it is the privilege of human beings to live under the laws of justice and mercy.
Wendell Berry

The challenge of social justice is to evoke a sense of community that we need to make our nation a better place, just as we make it a safer place.
Marian Wright Edelman

In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

We live in an age in which the fundamental principles to which we subscribe — liberty, equality and justice for all — are encountering extraordinary challenges, … But it is also an age in which we can join hands with others who hold to those principles and face similar challenges.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Tags: