‘Justice and only justice you shall follow’
How often we hear the cry for justice! The media stands up and reports when a case of injustice comes to their notice, because they know that justice strikes the chords of all human hearts, whatever their creed or affiliation. Whether it is the homeless, the assassination of journalists, immigrants, domestic violence, abused minors, abandoned children, or the poor – especially those who are sick, the cases are always cropping up.
Justice also comes into play when we speak of ecumenism, that is, the efforts towards Christian unity. We know how much hurt, incomprehension, even conflicts have been caused by the divisions among Christians. And yet, Jesus Christ, before he died on the cross, prayed at the Last Supper to his heavenly Father: “Holy Father, keep them in thy name which thou hast given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.” (Jn. 17,11)
The title above is taken from Deuteronomy, (16,20) one of the books of the Old Testament. Here Moses, towards the end of his life, gives advice to the people of God. He presents God as a father who does not abandon His children. Even when Cain kills Abel, God does not kill Cain, but protects him (Gen 4, 8-16). God is a loving father, who protects us until we change heart, and acquire a new life. Jesus showed us the way to justice, he urges us to show mercy and forgiveness.
‘Justice and only justice you shall follow’ is the theme of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity that is held every year, from January 18 to 25, in the countries of the northern hemisphere. This theme was chosen by the members of different Christian churches of Indonesia.
Our Christian brethren of Indonesia have prepared the usual booklet with themes for reflection, prayers and invocations for each day of the Week of Unity. The highlight is the ecumenical prayer service at which Christians and all people of goodwill gather together to pray for unity to our heavenly Father, with Jesus in their midst.
Everyone is invited to the ecumenical prayer service, with the theme ‘Justice and only justice you shall follow’ to be held in Malta on Friday, January, 25, at 6.30pm, at St Paul’s Shipwreck parish church, in St Paul Street, Valletta.
The Archbishop of Malta, Mgr Charles J. Scicluna, will preside. The sermon will be delivered by Canon Simon Godfrey, Chancellor of St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral.
Afterwards, all of us are invited to greet each other over refreshments prepared by the parishioners of St Paul’s Shipwreck church.
What a wonderful feeling of joy pervades us when we attend these moments of unity.
“Jesus is present where an Evangelical and Roman Catholic love each other, where an Anglican and Orthodox love each other, where members of the Armenian and Reformed churches love each other... What peace is felt, already here and now, and what light for an authentic ecumenical journey.” (Chiara Lubich, November 29, 1998)