Today’s reflection is written by Deacon Karen Katamay.
“I the Lord love justice, I hate robbery and wrongdoing.” —Isaiah 61:8
The Lord loves justice, and so should we. Yet our world sometimes seems to have a distorted view of justice, such as when someone who steals food to feed their family goes to jail, yet someone who commits what we call a “white collar” crime, stealing from others through deception or manipulation, gets away with just a fine. Not that any form of robbery is okay—the Lord certainly doesn’t like that—but is there a better way for justice to be served? Are there systemic problems that need to be addressed?
So how then can we determine what is just and what isn’t?
For me, the answers are in the Bible and especially in the words of Jesus. If we love one another, as Jesus commanded us to do, we won’t do things that will hurt others. If we care for the needy among us, then everyone can have their daily bread. If we treasure our relationship with God over earthly riches, then we won’t be tempted to take advantage of others for our own gain.
Sometimes the problems in our society, such as racial and social injustice, are much deeper than we will ever understand, or are caused by years of injustice which will take many more years to amend. In those cases, we must pray for healing and insight, asking God how we can make a difference. How can we be there for those who need us to stand up for them?
Yes, the Lord loves justice and wants that justice to begin with us. God wants us to acknowledge where we have failed to stand up for others and try to do better. The prophet Micah says it best: “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).
Let us act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God every day.