By Fr. Josef Altenburger
A moment of reflection during our meeting in

Bamberg 8.-12.4.2008

Justice is one of the signs of God. His people, the people of God, our community, have to be a mirror of his justice.

- God hates injustice, in his eyes it is terrible, it cries to heaven.
- Jahwe is on the side of those, who don´t have rights: widows, orphans, homeless people, strangers…
- The church, our community has to be a voice for all, who don´t have voices…

The THORA – the law – has many prescriptions which guarantee a minimum of social justice. Even today they are very important:
- the sabbat-law: it stops exploitation of man and nature: the meaning for today: renewal of the natural rhythm for man and nature
- the sabbatical year (Jobel-year): it restores the dignity of all members of the people of God; it creates a new foundation of life for all who went into the trap of slavery through poverty…
- “the land belongs to God” (Lev 25,23): the resources of the earth belong to all.
- The prohibition of taking interest should prevent richness in the hand of a minority, accumulation of capital causes poverty and is the evil of our economic order
- …..

Where these laws are forgotten there grows misuse of power, injustice and poverty.
The prophets stand up against these evils in the name of God.
We are called to be carageous and clear to fight against such injustices.

Jesus – Gods justice and mercifulness
Jesus puts himself in the tradition of the prophets. His wrath is Gods wrath against a system of injustice which is even religiously legitimated…( selling and bying in the temple (Mark 11, 19) )
For him the heart of the Law is “justice, mercy and faithfulness”. This is the basic relation with man. Justice without mercy is not coming from God.

Texts for meditation:

Mt 6.33: Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides.
Mt 23,23: Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You pay tithes of mint and dill and cumin, and habe neglected the weightier things of the law: judgement and mercy and fidelity.
Mt 5, 1-11: The Beatidues: Constitution of the Kingdom
Justice in the Bible