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Statue of Lady Justice in Frankfurt

Statue of Lady Justice in Frankfurt (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wake up, you who long deeply for a world of right relationships,
you shall be encircled by the birth of a new society.

(Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied)

“Righteousness” is a loaded word. I look back to the evangelical influences of my youth and remember the championing of this term under the backdrop of good WASPish moralistic rectitude. Later, when I examined the Greek basis of the translation, I discovered it had more to do with “justice”, and I moved from an attitude of feeling I needed to appease some disassociated code of imposed behaviour to one of striving for worthy cause.

In other words, I stopped feeling I had to justify going to the movies on a Sunday and shifted my focus more positively to the core business of discerning what was right and just action for members of the community who were hard done by. The inner shift of motivation was from “fear of doing the wrong (unrighteous) thing” to an awareness, and then a hunger and thirst, for the righting of wrongs in our life together.

I am invigorated further when I consider the nuances of a translation from the Aramaic text. The element of relationship and community is brought into sharper focus. The dangers and risks of “strident crusade” approaches to matters of justice are mitigated and the elements of “shalom” or “salaam”, the gift of the eastern vision of peace through right relationships comes to the fore.

Something to be mindful of in the process as well as the end of some of the causes we fight for.

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