Conceptual key: Justice
Conceptual key: Justice

Fragments of ecclesial documents in which justice is spoken as a moral and social virtue.

Author: C.L. Rossetti | Source:

Conceptual key: Justice 
Fragments of ecclesial documents in which justice is spoken as a moral and social virtue. 

By: C.L. Rossetti | Source: 

It is the moral and social virtue that is fulfilled that which is righteous and gives to each one what it corresponds to him. In the Bible justice (tsedaka-dikaiosyne), as a Yhwh attribute, is always a source of → Salvation. The Lord expresses his righteousness by ridding the oppressed and protecting the weak, becoming "the widow's and the orphan's lawyer." The Israelites are called to do the same, complying with the Law of the Lord (Torah) and observing their commandments that represent the right (Mishpat). 

It consists of condivision and hospitality, wage equity and judicial righteousness, and even absence of rancor and benevolence towards the enemy (cf. Dt 6.25; is 23.4-5; Lv 19, 13SS). The prophets (especially Is.) emphasized that only in the school of Yhwh you learn justice: "With all my soul I yearn for you in the night, and with all my spirit in the morning I seek you. 

For when you judge the earth, they the habitants of the orb learn justice" (Is 26.9). "But in this, it is praised who will praise: in having brains and knowing me, for I am Yahve, I do mercy, right and justice on earth, for in that I pleasure" (Jr 9.23). "Wash, clean yourselves, take away your wrongdoings from before my sight, desist from doing evil, learn to do good, seek the righteous, give your rights to the oppressed, do justice to the orphan, advocate for the widow" (Is 1,16-17). And only the → works of righteousness are the true cult that pleases God (cf. Is 58,1-8; Ez 18.5-9). 

Who welcomes the training of the Lord is thus described: "Who walks in righteousness and speaks righteously; the one who refuses fraudulent profits, who shakes the palm to not accept bribery, who covers his ears to not hear about blood and closes his eyes to see evil. He will dwell in the heights, rise to take refuge in the strength of the stones, his bread will be given to him and he will have the safe water "(Is. 33,15-16). 

But the promise of true fulfillment of justice, precursor of peace, concerns a messianic future: when "Behold, to do justice shall reign a king" (Is 32.1) and "At last will be poured from above upon our spirit. The steppe will be made an orchard, and the orchard will be considered as a jungle. It rests in the steppe the fairness, and the justice dwells in the orchard; the product of justice will be peace, the fruit of fairness, perpetual security. And my village will live in a shelter of peace, in safe abodes and quiet inns. The jungle will be dejected and the city sunken "(Is 32, 1.15-19). 

The mission of the Messiah consists, in fact, mainly in bringing Law and Justice: "Here is my servant whom I hold, my chosen one in whom my soul is pleased. I have put my spirit upon him: he will dictate the law to the nations. Will not scream or raise the tone, and will not make his voice heard in the street. Broken reed will not depart, and wick fading won't turn off. He will loyally do justice: he shall not faint or break until the land is implanted and his instruction will be attended by the islands. Thus saith the God Yahveh, who creates the heavens and extends them, who makes the earth sign and extends it, which encourages the people in it, and spirit to those who walk by it. I, Yahve, have called you in righteousness, and I put you this way, I formed you, and I have destined you to be the alliance of the people and the light of the people, to open the blind eyes, to remove the prisoner from jail, from prison to those who live in darkness "(Is 42,1-7). 

Jesus is aware that he inaugurates messianic Justice (cf. Lc. 4,16-21). In the sermon on the mountain, he preaches a new justice (Mt 5-7) that spiritually fulfills and radically the Torah. She acts in the conversion of the human heart transformed into filial with respect to God, and therefore free from fear, concupiscence, hypocrisy, and rancor, made able to trust God and → gratuitousness and charity towards → neighbor. 

In the NT God's righteousness is identified with Christ himself, "to whom God made for us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption" (1 Co 1.30). The mercy of Christ has led him to condemn in himself the sin to save sinners (cf. 2 Co 5, 17SS). The renewed condition of the sinner justified by faith and the gift of grace enables him to live in the service of righteousness (Rm 6.13).

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