I've written before of my disdain for the "social justice" agitators in the Catholic Church because I think they're confused. The downside is -- they're also very vocal and to the undiscerning ear, sound Biblically correct when thumping for the cause. It has irritated me for quite some time and, as often is the case, I ponder it until I can figure out why it irritates me.
I've noticed that those who push the "social justice" agenda usually lean left in many of their views. Along with social justice is an obsession with ordaining women as priests, approval of homosexuality, and a frequent attitude of dissent with Rome. Those traits are enough to make me suspicious and warn me that they may be in deep, spiritual danger. I have pointed out that all too frequently, a focus on "social justice" can distract a person from true spiritual growth. As I've said before, Jesus didn't die on a cross for a cause. He died for the sin of the world and to bring us salvation.
I've discovered another reason why I react so strongly toward this deceptive "cause." And it's because of this: Mercy.
I haven't yet found an online Catholic Bible with study aids, so I used the Blue Letter Bible. I did a simple search on the words "Justice" and "Mercy." In the Bible, the word "justice" occurred 28 times. "Mercy," however, is mentioned 276 times.
Why bring this up? Because I believe that we as the Body of Christ are called more to show mercy, than justice.
Who, really, can dispense justice? In John 14:27, Jesus says this:
"And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world."
We are to follow Jesus' example, which included not judging others (regarding the state of their soul) but to love one another and show mercy. Yes, we need to be discerning and wise observation of spiritual things is necessary. But we are not to demand justice from a fallen world. Life, as we know it here, is unfair on many levels. Evil men acquire wealth while good men go poor. Dishonest men succeed while honest men fail. Greedy organizations thrive while selfless ones wither. Is it our job, as the Body of Christ to right all the wrongs in the world?
Someone may say, "Well, aren't we to called to defend the defenseless?" I'm not sure about that. If someone has relevant Scripture verses, please share them in the combox. I know in Psalm 82, there is a plea for justice but the plea is made to God our Father. On numerous occasions, Jesus would show mercy to the sinner and would turn the other cheek when treated unjustly.
There is something arrogant about thinking I can change the world into acting justly. The world hates true justice. It is why the devil worked so hard to prevent Jesus Christ from being born, let alone live. He knew that judgement was coming but it came in an unexpected way. Only by sacrificing His own life did Jesus accomplish the justice that was required by His Father.
I can't help but wonder what this country would look like if those who are so focused on "social justice" causes instead focused more on showing mercy and forgot the whole legislative process after all. Laws are written and forgotten - but the mercy of God is unending. Many of our saints became saints because they consistently showed mercy. Even Mother Teresa, whom some would call an activist for the downtrodden, was known for her mercy. I'll close with one of my favorite Mother Teresa quotes:
I was once asked why I don't participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I'll be there.