Justice for Lent


By Frank Wessling

During Lent this year, Pope Benedict asks us to reflect on how well we are doing as people of justice.

He asks us to begin by remembering that we are the beneficiaries of God’s justice, a gift of love, and are called to share in the same way. We are given a second chance, as it were, through the sacrifice of Christ, so we should know that self-sufficiency, or the notion that we deserve all we have, is an illusion of the ego. We are all needy, beginning with need for the love of God which comes through communion with others.

If we have the humility to recognize our own need, we may enter into the action of Christ where we find what the pope calls “the greatest justice, which is that of love, the justice that recognizes itself in every case more a debtor than a creditor because it has received more than could ever have been expected.

“Strengthened by this very experience,” Benedict continues, “the Christian is moved to contribute to creating just societies, where all receive what is necessary to live according to the dignity proper to the human person and where justice is enlivened by love.”


Justice enlivened by love. Anyone influenced by the Gospel, anyone shaped by a desire to know and follow Christ, will be a lover animated to justice — with a special attraction to the needs of the poor. This constant message of the church is always fitting for reflection. Make it especially so during this Lent. 

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