In one of the buildings of the Supreme Court of the Philippines located in Padre Faura St., Manila, two statues were standing before its portals. One is Moses who was holding the tablets of the Ten Commandments while the other is Lady Justice, who was wearing a blindfold while holding a balanced weighing scale on her left hand, and wielding a sword on the right hand. What do these two personas have to do with Justice? Moses was known to have received the Ten Commandments from God on which most of the Jewish ethics, civil laws, and religious laws were based. On the other hand, Lady Justice is the allegorical personification of what justice should be - fair, just and equal, carefully weighing the strength of the case as the basis of the verdict, and only given by the people in authority as symbolized by the sword. Moses represents the laws while Lady Justice represents the conformity to the laws.
Justice is the quality of being just, impartial and fair. It is sometimes correlated with moral rightness or righteousness. It is the principle or ideal of just dealing or right action, and it may be a system of law in which every person receives his/her due from the system, including all rights, both natural and legal. Although justice is intangible, we can perceive its absence or presence roundabout through the situations and relationships of people. Where there are criminality, oppression, lawlessness, and corruption, there is injustice. When the law is fulfilled, and nothing has been broken, there is justice. Where there is peace between the hearts of men, there you can find justice.
Judges, justices, and rulers are expected to possess this core value as they are the people in authority vested to judge whether a specific act or omission did not conform to the scale of truth and the rule of law. As they are assumed to possess the competency and imbued with power, they are also expected to act with the utmost care and have judgment which is untainted, unbiased and not based on whims and caprices. However, this does not mean that only the people aforementioned are expected to act with justice. We as a people have to respond with justice in every transaction, dealing, and task. Give to every person what is due, what is fair and what is right. If we are in the front-line services, our customers and clients must receive the best service from us. If we are in the rank and file, provide excellent service and honor those above you - this is but right. If we are in the administrative, we must provide the most conducive physical and spiritual atmosphere in the office so that there is truth, equality, righteousness, peace, and joy in the workplace - this is but fair. If we are in the managerial or supervisory, treat those below you with respect, love and care because they are your partners in fulfilling the vision and mission of your agency or institution - it is but just.
In all our dealings, make sure that we conform to the rules, regulations, laws of the land and moral codes, and surely we are keeping track in our walk with justice. “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.” If we do this, we are the walking justice.
We are law-abiding citizens and conduits of justice in our nation. We will not delay justice because justice delayed is justice denied. We will do what is fair, what is just and what is right. We will give every person what is due to him/her. We say no to cruelty, oppression, and injustice. We will uphold what is right. Justice is established in our families, workplace, and communities through our lives. We are the living justice as the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, and the Lord is our king!
Lord, we come before you, and we ask forgiveness if we have been channels of injustice in the past. Allow us to yearn for your precepts that we may have a deeper understanding of what is right, fair and just before your eyes. Give us the wisdom to judge when confronted by circumstance accordingly. Allow remember that ultimately, You will be the judge of all. Help us and guide us. These we ask in the name of our Lord, amen.
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