Is justice fairness, or fairness justice? The answer is not necessarily so. In our secular society we tend to equate justice with fairness. We use the scales of justice to identify equality versus inequality and then conclude that justice is either working as intended or not. However, God’s justice is on a whole different plane than man’s definition of the term. True justice is defined as giving God His due through worship, praise and thanksgiving, as well as giving one’s neighbor his due by respecting his rights and personhood. These actions are just.
Let’s look at what Father Morris from christophers.org has to say about the definition of Justice:
I like Father Morris’ thoughts about meeting the needs of others; that it is just for us to help others. I am reminded of the parable of the Workers in the Vineyard (Matt 20:1-16), where the landowner hires men throughout the day, and when it is time to pay the wages at the end of the day, the landowner gives instructions to pay the men who worked the shortest amount of time first, paying everyone a full day’s wage. Some may think that it is not fair to pay everyone for a full day’s work, when a full day’s work was not performed. However, the reasoning for the parable is to demonstrate God’s will: God knew that every man who worked that day must feed his family that night, and to do so, needs the full day’s wage. God is just, and will always give us what we need. Jesus never said that life would be fair, but we will always get our just due from Him. Do we give our just due back to Him? Food for thought.
Where does Justice reside, and why is it important? We’ll address those questions in our next reflection on the virtue of justice. Don’t miss it!