How many different types of Justice exist? In these next three reflections we will discuss in detail three forms of Justice: Commutative, Distributive and Social Justice, and how they each propel us to consider the common good. Today, we’ll cover Commutative Justice, which is concerned with the mutual dealings between two individuals. When one individual is wronged by another, Commutative Justice would require that the wrong-doer correct the wrong-doing to the best means possible. For example, an apology might be in order, as well as a form of monetary payment for the trouble caused. Perhaps a reputation requires restoration with others.
We only need look at the news on television to see that man very easily wrongs one’s neighbors, and that we have much work to do as a society to consider the common good with every action that we take as individuals. Take for example what is happening in Murietta, CA this past week, regarding the humanitarian crisis of unaccompanied children crossing the borders into the United States, because the conditions in El Salvador, Guatemala and other central American countries are so deplorable that the parents of these children would send them 1300+ miles by foot to a better world. The lack of humanity for innocent children on the part of Americans picketing at the border, the slurs of hatred hurled in the direction of these innocent children, are in my opinion evil! Where is the love? Where is the Christian love for which Jesus commands of us? Watch this very popular video by the Black-Eyed Peas, “Where is the Love?” and listen closely to the words.
You know how people say that you can’t choose your family, but you can choose your friends? Well that’s true. And the message I send to the picketers of Murietta, CA is this: These people crossing the border – they are your family!!! We are ALL brothers and sisters of the same God. If you continue to treat these innocent children with hatred, you are expressing hatred toward Our Father in Heaven. I pray that you have a change of heart and begin to show compassion for these people who only want to live in peace. If we seek Justice by giving both God and our neighbor their due, we will have peace and love in abundance.
What wrongs in your life need to be made right? Waste no time, get to it, and you will find peace and love.
What is Distributive Justice? We’ll answer that question in our next reflection on the virtue of Justice. Don’t miss it!