Thought for the Day – 1 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Blessedness of Those
who Hunger and Thirst for Justice
“Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for justice” says Jesus Christ, “for they shall be satified” (Mt 5:6).
These words oblige us to seek justice in our actions, if we desire the happiness which Our Lord promised to the just.
We must understand, of course, what is intended here by the word “justice.”
It may be interpreted in two ways.
According to its most common meaning, justice is the cardinal virtue which obliges us to give every man his due.
Often in Sacred Scripture, however, the word is synonymous with perfection or holiness; that is, it is the synthesis of all the virtues.
It is in this sense, that Jesus employs the term when He says: “Seek first the kingdom of God and his justice and all these things shall be given you besides” (Mt 6:33).
In its fullest sense then, justice embraces our relations with God, with ourselves and with our neighbour.
In the first place, we must be just towards God and, therefore, in accordance with the Gospel precepts, we must “render to God the things that are God’s” (Mt 22:21).
Since everything belongs to God, our Creator and Redeemer, we must offer everything to Him, including ourselves, all that we are and all that we possess.
We have only obligations in regard to God and no rights because, we have received everything from Him.
We oughts to obey Him, therefore, as our supreme lawgiver.
We ought to adore Him and to love Him, with a greater love than we have for any creature or for ourselves because, He is the highest good, which merits all our love and which alone, can satisfy us.
We should express our love, moreover, by our actions and by the complete dedication of ourselves to His honour and glory.
Justice, then, is in fact, Christian perfection and is the synthesis of all the virtues.
That great pagan writer, Cicero, had already perceived this, when he wrote that “piety is the foundation of all the virtues” (Pro Plancio, 12:29) and that “piety is justice in regard to God” (De natura deorum, I, 4).
Justice in our relations with God, demands, that we adore, love and obey Him.
In this way, we lay the basis of all the virtues. “”