Heart of Justice

Readings for Monday January 17, 2011

First Reading: Hebrews 5:1-10
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 110
Gospel: Mark 2:18-22

Today, I would like to do something a little different. Today, I will not be offering a reflection on today's mass readings (but we should all still be reading and reflecting on these). Today, I would like to talk offering some things for us all to think and reflect on this day. Every year, on the third Monday in January, we remember and honor a great American leader in the civil rights movement, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Now although I was never alive during his time, I understand the impact that this man had in bringing an end to the segregation between blacks and whites that consumed our country at one time. Dr. King's message was one of truth, equality, and virtue. Among those virtues that he spoke of was the virtue of justice. In his "I have a dream speech," Dr. King shares these hopes that he has for the future of this country:

"I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today."

In this speech, Dr. King vividly describes the hope that he has for the nation and for the world. He knows that one of the ways in which that this could happen is by everyone having a heart of justice. I have no doubts that because of his faith, Dr. King was inspired by the life and teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ, who came to bring justice to all those in need of love and mercy.

Today, let us reflect on what the Church teaches about the virtue of justice, and may we all be granted a heart of justice in our lives.

Catechism 1807: "Justice is the moral virtue that consists in the constant and firm will to give their due to God and neighbor. Justice toward God is called 'virtue of religion.' Justice toward men disposes one to respect the rights of each and to establish in human relationships the harmony that promotes equity with regard to persons and to the common good..."

Father in heave, may we all be given a heart of justice towards you and our neighbor. Amen.

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