Charity and Justice

Illuminating Ministry

Charity is wonderful, but justice makes people nervous. Why is that? When people are asked to give money or time to local charities, it seems that they are more accommodating. When the word “justice” comes into play, these same people become hesitant and even angry. It would seem that justice asks more, calls individuals to go deeper, and requires a greater investment and even sacrifice on the neighbor’s behalf.

Illuminating Ministry: a journal, Victor J. Klimoski, Editor (Liturgical Press, 2010)

Are we guilty as charged here? Does justice make us nervous?



Categories: Church and Ministry

2 replies

  1. Yes. Justice is risky. Charity can be risky, but for most of us in the Western world we can pretty easily get away with handing over $10 or $20 to help somebody short-term. Then we feel good about it and often stop there. But justice will always require hard work, giving up some degree of comfort. It will always require coming in opposition with somebody else (or more often, a systemic collaboration of many others).

    • Another difference that I see between charity and justice is that charity goes one way and justice can be two-way or even more when there’s collaboration as you mention. Thanks for pointing that out.