「義德」是今個主日的主題, 英文為“justice”一字, 來自拉丁文的字根“ius”，意即「正確」。義德使我們尊重每個人的權利，致力人際關係的和諧，促進平等及公益。追求義德即是伸張他人的權利，及這些權利下的義務。真福若望保祿二世曾經說過:「要衡量一個社會的質素，就要看當中弱小的成員得到怎樣的對待...」這句話一針見血地顯出義德的含義和精神。
義德是有信德的人的本質，他們愛天主，所以也愛近人。對在困境中仍堅毅不屈、力持公正的人，耶穌許諾給他們「口才和明智」, 讓他們可以繼續為主作證。在某程度上，義德是必須的，因為它是維持人際關係的支柱，使人與人之間不致產生分裂而成為陌路人, 甚至敵人。
這篇默想是以 Foundations in Faith – Catechist Catechumenate Manual 為根據，並獲得版權持有人 RCL Benziger, LLC 批准使用。
33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Liturgical Year C)
Lo, the day is coming, blazing like an oven, when all the proud and all evildoers will be stubble, and the day that is coming will set them on fire, leaving them neither root nor branch, says the LORD of hosts. But for you who fear my name, there will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays.
2 Thessalonians 3:7-12
Brothers and sisters:
You know how one must imitate us. For we did not act in a disorderly way among you, nor did we eat food received free from anyone. On the contrary, in toil and drudgery, night and day we worked, so as not to burden any of you. Not that we do not have the right. Rather, we wanted to present ourselves as a model for you, so that you might imitate us. In fact, when we were with you, we instructed you that if anyone was unwilling to work, neither should that one eat. We hear that some are conducting themselves among you in a disorderly way, by not keeping busy but minding the business of others. Such people we instruct and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to work quietly and to eat their own food.
While some people were speaking about how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings, Jesus said, "All that you see here -- the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down."
Then they asked him, "Teacher, when will this happen? And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?"
He answered, "See that you not be deceived, for many will come in my name, saying, 'I am he,' and 'The time has come.' Do not follow them! When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for such things must happen first, but it will not immediately be the end." Then he said to them, "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues from place to place; and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.
"Before all this happens, however, they will seize and persecute you, they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons, and they will have you led before kings and governors because of my name. It will lead to your giving testimony. Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand, for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute. You will even be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends, and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but not a hair on your head will be destroyed. By your perseverance you will secure your lives."
In the first passage, prophet Malachi speaks of a coming “day of the Lord”, which will bring judgment upon the people, punishing the guilty and rewarding the just. Here the symbol of the sun suggests that evil-doers will be incinerated while the righteous healed in the glory of mercy on the day when the Lord comes. The psalm reaffirms the first reading's emphasis on God's justice which is fast approaching and will soon be realised. In the Gospel of Luke, the passage begins with an admiration of the physical splendour of the temple but Jesus' prediction of the destruction of the temple is accompanied by an even stronger prophecy of the end times. Those who have faith will be upheld and triumph over their persecutors not by their own power, but through the words and wisdom of Jesus which will be graced upon them. Finally, Jesus concludes with a counsel of patient endurance for his disciples, reminding them to seek the path to eternal salvation.
"Justice" is the theme of this Sunday, with the word originating from its Latin root 'ius', which means 'right' or 'that which is correct'. Justice moves us to respect each individual's rights, working towards harmonious relationships which promote equality and the common good. Pursuing justice means pursuing the rights of others and the duties which flow from acknowledging and respecting such rights. Blessed John Paul II once said that "A society will be judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members..." These words clearly express the spirit and deeper meaning behind the concept of "justice".
Justice is a quality of those who possess the virtue of faith, those who love God and neighbours. Those who stand firmly for justice in the midst of trying times are promised “words and wisdom” by Jesus to continue to testify for God. In some sense, justice is necessary because it is the pillar which regulates human relations in society, and it prevents division among members from being strangers to each other, or worse, becoming enemies.
If all human relationships are driven by perfect love, then law and commandments would no longer be needed, because injustice would no longer exist. But in reality, injustice can be seen time and again in the world. As such, Jesus again reminds us to not be afraid, to remain patient in perseverance and continue to walk on Christ's path of light and righteousness.
Let us think: when was the last time we stood up and spoke out for justice and righteousness?
Jesus said "whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me." (Mat 25:40)
This material is adapted from the Foundations in Faith – Catechist Catechumenate Manual with the permission of the copyright holder, RCL Benziger, LLC.