by Rev. Howard Ray Carey
Maitreya makes it clear, in His Messages, that there can be no peace without justice, and no justice without love and sharing. But in the long history of man the concept of justice has not always been thus equated with love.
The biblical assertion, ''Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord,'' is often quoted to portray justice as punishment, as retribution. This is a far cry from the concept of the justice of love. In the law attributed to Moses, it is plainly stated:''When a man causes disfigurement in his neighbor, as he has done, it shall be done to him, fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; as he has disfigured a man, he shall be disfigured.'' (Lev. 24:l9-20)
It may be surprising to note that this law of supposedly equal justice was set forth to curb the practice of exacting unlimited vengeance.In the fourth chapter of Genesis we read where a man named Lamech boasted to his wives: ''I have slain a man for wounding me, a young man for striking me. If Cain is avenged seven fold, truly Lamech seventy-seven fold.'' Sadly enough, this retributive concept of justice, ''eye for eye and tooth for tooth,'' still prevails in too many parts of the world, and even in so-called courts of justice. Not only this, but even Lamech's concept of excessive retribution is still seen in cases, for instance, where a parent strikes, wounds, and sometimes even disfigures or kills his child as punishment for minor infractions of parental law.
In fact, the thoughtform of retribution as justice is so strongly ingrained in men's thinking that some theologians still are struggling with the question of how to reconcile divine justice with divine love. This quandary arises not only through a misconception of justice, but of love as well. For love is often thought to be sentimental weakness. Surely the more we study and meditate on the gospel ---- the good news ---- of Christ, both in Palestine long ago and in His Messages today, the more truly we will come to understand that love means justice, and justice is the way of love. In the Sermon on the Mount, as reported by Matthew, Christ says (speaking through Jesus): ''You have heard that it was said, 'an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.' But I say to you...if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also... Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father...for he makes his sun rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.'' (from Matt. chapter 5)
Here we can see not only that Jesus was correcting the mistaken thoughtform about justice as retribution, but was revealing that love is a creative and surprising response to wrong. This is spelled out even more fully in the present day Messages from Maitreya. In studying Messages 101 to 140 I discover that in at least 35 instances He is calling for justice, as the expression of love and sharing, and as a major prerequisite for peace. Just a few examples will make this clear:
‘‘I show men that the Path to Justice is simple... I speak of God’s Truth, of the Light within mankind, of the need for trust, the Love of brother for brother... As you place your foot on the Path to Justice and Love so do you begin the ascent to God.’’ (Message No. 108)
‘‘Justice must and shall be done. The world groans for Justice. The true reason for man’s problems today is the absence of Justice and Love... This gracious gift of Love and Just Sharing stems from God. Only through its correct manifestation can God be known. Teach men this, My friends, and you teach a great and simple Truth... I come to show you the simple Path to God through Love, to teach you the techniques of Love, the way forward through Love and Justice, correct relationship of man to man and thus to God.'' (Message No. 101)
‘‘When you see Us you will know that the new Time, the New Age, has begun, the time of Sharing and Justice, of Love and Brotherhood, the time of the Law of God.’’ (Message No. 136)
‘‘I need your help to come before you, to bless this world and teach, to show men that the way forward is simple, requires only the acceptance of Justice and Freedom, Sharing and Love.’’ (Message No. 140)
Through these and other Messages it becomes plain that our share in the work involves not only embodying these principles of justice and love, of sharing and brotherhood within ourselves, but also the task of teaching these transforming truths to others. At times perhaps we feel a bit overwhelmed by this responsibility. But do we need to feel thus overwhelmed or overburdened? Why should we, when we have available the great help of the Christ and the Masters, as we gladly commit ourselves to this gracious opportunity for sharing?
By what means, then, are we intended to teach these truths? The answer, I would think, would include every means available to us. Can we not write letters to friends and editors, at least alerting them to the possibility of a way out of the present impasse? Can we not raise questions with some persons, not imposing anything on them, but asking them what they think of these truths? Thus we will be planting seeds which will bear fruit later on. And inwardly, through meditation, through transmission work, surely we can send out the energy of these principles, to be used by the Hierarchy in their wisdom, for the healing of men and nations. And, in addition to all this, perhaps we teach more effectively than we know by what we are, by what we think, and by living in the Christ spirit of light, of love, and wisdom. What do you think?
This article is a chapter from The Joy of Christ's Coming. This book by the late Rev. Howard Ray Carey was published by Share International Foundation in 1988. It is not currently available in hard copy form. Copyright © Share International Foundation. Biblical quotations are taken from the Revised Standard version unless otherwise indicated.
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