Ron Arthur’s letters are always interesting and informative, evocative and provocative — echoing and reverberating his overt Catholicity, with just a tinge of latent solemn sadness. Thanks to him for opening up this discussion on justice, mercy and grace.
Justice is not just us. It is absolutely God, and He is the only one that is. Justice itself, unlike truth, does not stand alone, It does not exist in and by itself without relation to anything else. Justice, like love, is not conditionless, but has purpose and object and metes and bounds. Justice isn’t justice without mercy, and mercy isn’t mercy without justice. They stand together immersed in the law. But everything is reliant on and subservient to truth and love, which is Jesus Christ, the logos or word, i.e., God alone.
My wise old dad used to say, “Son, we really don’t want justice because justice is what we deserve; we want mercy, which is what we don’t deserve, but God, in his infinite goodness, gives us what we need. It is by the grace of God we receive forgiveness and reprieve, something we could never earn on our own.”
When Jesus looked down from the cross, his vision wasn’t blurred by the blood in his eyes. His vision was perfectly clear — his purpose, plan and design haven’t changed a bit. That is why he could say “tetelestai,” i.e. “it is finished.” It is, and he alone accomplished it.
Like a rope, the strands of legalism and apostasy are woven tight and will strangle and kill our insipid souls; but a rope with strands of grace and truth will hoist our sinful souls from the flames of hell and separation from our Father. It redeems us.
There is no truth nor love, no justice or mercy, no salvation and freedom outside of the unmerited favor of Christ. The most beautiful theology ever written is Romans 5:1 and Romans 8:1 — it’s salve to our blinded eyes.
Please pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
William Van Amber Fields