What justice is and what it isn’t ….

In my courses, I used this quote from Batman Begins.  This is after a retrial of the man that killed Bruce Wayne’s parents.  Batman had a gun at the courthouse in order to kill the guy who killed his parents.  Someone else ended up killing this guy and no one suspected that Bruce Wayne had a gun.  He leaves the courthouse and is now conversing with his lady friend.

Rachel Dawes: The DA couldn’t understand why Faden insisted on making the hearing public. Falcone paid him off to get Chill out in the open.
Bruce Wayne: Maybe I should be thanking them.
Rachel Dawes: You don’t mean that.
Bruce Wayne: What if I do Rachel? My parents deserved justice.
Rachel Dawes: You’re not talking about justice. You’re talking about revenge.
Bruce Wayne: Sometimes they’re the same.
Rachel Dawes: No, they’re never the same. Justice is about harmony. Revenge is about you making yourself feel better, which is why we have an impartial system.
Bruce Wayne: Your system is broken.
Rachel Dawes: [Rachel makes a sharp turn] You care about justice? Look beyond your own pain, Bruce. This city is rotting. People talk about the depression as if its history. It’s not. Things are worse than ever down here. Falcone floods our streets with crime and drugs creating new Joe Chills everyday. Falcone may’ve not killed your parents Bruce but he’s destroying everything they stood for.
[She parks in front of a building]
Rachel Dawes: You wanna thank him for that? Here you go. We all know where to find him, as long as he keeps the bad people rich and the good people scared no-one will touch him. Good people like your parents won’t stand against injustice, they’re gone.
Bruce Wayne: I’m not one of your good people Rachel.
Rachel Dawes: What do you mean?
Bruce Wayne: All these years I wanted to kill him.
[reveals the gun]
Bruce Wayne: Now I can’t.
Rachel Dawes: [Rachel slaps him twice] Your father would be ashamed of you.

(This quote is taken from http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0372784/quotes)

The point is that “justice” is not about retribution or revenge, it was the idea of preserving unity.  Thus we hear about prisons being reformatories, that is, punishing the convict but also reforming him to become a responsible citizen of our society.  Just like in Christianity, justification is not about simple revenge or retribution but love and unity with God and thus with one another in Christ.  When the often quoted passage from Scripture which is quoted at the end of the 10 Commandments in the Catechism:  Exodus 20:5-6 “I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.” (ESV)  It isn’t that God is “revengeful” but that He is loving, thus He is jealous, like a jealous husband to his wife.  He wants to preserve “communion,” a proper relationship before Him and thus one another in Christ.  That is why “justification” in Christianity is frequently falsely understood as simply me being a justified sinner but it is also about restoration of relationship  (communion) before God and thus one another.  That is why the nature of sin is not simply doing something wrong or falling short of some moral standard, but it is that we do not fear, love and trust in God above all things.  For the nature of our sin is that we believe ourselves as our own god, as if we are the ones that give meaning to life and not God.  (Genesis 3:5-6)

In a basic way, “authority” is preserving unity and order in love, it is used as a service-servant word and not merely working out of the sake of the possession of one’s authority.