Soon we’ll be doing our Christmas cards. One commonplace scene has an idyllic image — a horse and sleigh dashing through the snow.
Now you never see the sleigh before the horse, the horse trying to push it up the hill, do you? Of course not. That would be dumb. We all know that the sleigh is behind the horse. That’s the way it is with peace.
If the sleigh’s name is Peace, what do you think the horse is called? The horse’s name is Justice.
We never puts the cart before the horse, do we? Peace always follows justice and righteousness, goodness, fairness and kindness. “Peace is the work of Justice and the effect of Charity.” (Catholic Catechism)
Peace is a Gift of the Spirit. If we want peace, we will find it after we have pursued justice and righteousness for all. That is true within our own personal lives, our community and family lives, the life of our city, our province, our nation, our world.
It’s the same everywhere.
If you want peace, you find it after you pursue justice and righteousness.
So what is this great horse called justice?
Justice is the organization of life, the structuring of society, so that the little people can be taken care of. The most important function of a government is not defense. A nation is judged by its care of the vulnerable.
Can we really believe that it is really fair, when a person with a family works forty hours a week or fifty, and does not have enough money for food, housing, heat, clothing… while the boss makes millions of dollars?
Do you think that is fair? Do you think that is just? Of course not.
Fairness is not taking advantage of others. Fairness is everyone doing their fair share within a community or family. It’s hard to have peace if you don’t have fairness in terms of work and responsibility.
If Justice is the workhorse, then the sleigh of Christmas peace follows.
Let this lovely image of dashing through a gentle snowfall in a one horse open sleigh remain in our hearts and echo in our lives this holy Advent. And in all the days of our lives through our attitudes and actions for justice and peace. Then we will truly rejoice this Christmas!