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The Perspective of Justice
25th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Year A
September 24, 2023
Gerald Darring
God's Justice

The parable of the workers in the vineyard is rather startling. People who work an hour in the late afternoon are paid the same as those who work all day long. Obviously God doesn’t think like we do.

We think of justice in terms of what is fair, of what people deserve. So we would say that the people who worked longer deserved more. But God doesn’t see it that way. God thinks of justice in terms of people’s dignity, their right to a decent life.

The people who came late had the same right to a decent life as those who had worked all day, so they are all treated equally. Nothing is taken from anyone, but all are treated in accord with their dignity, their right to a decent life. Such is God’s justice.

  “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.” Perhaps we would have a better world if we were to adopt some of God’s ways. After all, “the Lord is just in all his ways,” and that is something which cannot be said of all our ways.

  “Father, guide us according to your law of love.” Free us from our law of vindictive justice.
Biblical justice is more comprehensive than subsequent philosophical definitions. It is not concerned with a strict definition of rights and duties, but with the rightness of the human condition before God and within society. Nor is justice opposed to love; rather, it is both a manifestation of love and a condition for love to grow.

U.S. Bishops, Economic Justice for All, 1986:39

Gerald Darring

Now published in book form, To Love and Serve: Lectionary Based Meditations, by Gerald Darring. This entire three year cycle is available at Amazon.com.


Art by Martin Erspamer, OSB
from Religious Clip Art for the Liturgical Year (A, B, and C). This art may be reproduced only by parishes who purchase the collection in book or CD-ROM form. For more information go http://www.ltp.org