2nd Sunday of Advent

Sunday, December 8, 2019
Fr. Kyle
Homily transcription: 

The virtue of Justice is giving the other what is due to them.  Giving God what he is due and giving others what they are due.  What is due to the other is based on our relationship and the virtue of justice can change the way we see our relationship.

First, it can change the way we see our relationship with others.  If I am at a diner and someone is serving coffee to me then all I am due to them is a 10% tip on the bill.  But the virtue of justice challenges us to change how we see these sort of interactions.  Our relation with others is not a contractual relationship.  Our relationship it others (all others) is a relationship of brothers and sisters in Christ (relationship of love).  That person at the diner is not just someone who gets me coffee; they are a brother or sister in Christ.  Do we truly see other and/or treat others as our brothers and sisters?  To see our relationship in these terms changes what is due to that person.  No longer is it just a 10% tip, but I also owe them their dignity as a child of God and my love as a brother or sister in Christ.  Treating people with this kind of justice is particularly difficult when it comes to people, we would rather avoid all together.  But we owe these people so much more than just avoidance. 

Second, the virtue of justice can challenge how we see our relationship with God.  Certainly, we owe God all glory praise and honor, but the virtue of justice calls us to consider our relationship as something more than just a contractual relationship where we fear God if we do something wrong.  Our relationship with him is a relationship with a loving Father and we are his beloved sons and daughters.  Let me share a story about my earthly father to help demonstrate this.  By brother and I were playing baseball in the house (again) and low and behold we broke a window.  We were afraid of when dad would get home because he would be mad.  But what we failed to see is that our relationship with our father was not one of strict justice but one of a loving father.  Dad was not some landlord who would make us pay for what we did.  He was a loving father that would pick up the pieces, fix the window and restore the house.  Now, dad did make us pay for the broken window, but he did so much more out of love for us as his children, and so does our heavenly father.  When we do something wrong, God is not like some landlord just looking to make us pay for our transgressions.  He is a loving Father that wants to pick up the broken pieces of our life and fix our shattered lives.  In justice and love what is due to us as beloved sons and daughters is unconditional love and mercy.  But we also have to consider what is due to God as our loving Father who has given us everything.  This is where the virtue of justice gets confusing because there is no way we can make a return to God for all the good He has done for us.

Suffice it to say that the virtue of justice challenges us to change how we see our relationships with God and with others.  And if we truly live out these relationships not out of a sense of contractual duty but out of love for our brothers and sisters and our loving Father, then we experience the pure joy of what it is to love and be loved in return. 

God created us for happiness.  So are you happy?