Day 40: Laws of Justice

Exodus 22:1-15 These verses all describe sins against the Seventh Commandment. Any form of cheating or dishonesty is an injustice that deprives a person of his or her private property and, therefore, constitutes stealing. (CCC 2408, 2545)

Ch 22:16-17 The custom of the father of the groom giving money to the bride’s father, called a mohar, was not a purchase of the bride but rather a form of restitution for the loss of the daughter. Oppression of foreigners and widows are among the sins that cry to heaven. (CCC 1867, 2361, 2394-2396)

SEXUAL TEMPTATIONS ARE NEARLY INEVITABLE for every human person. The temptation in itself IS NOT SINFUL, but the deliberate choice to entertain lustful thoughts or desires or to act upon them IS SINFUL. Everyone is called to chastity, whether single or married. Sexual expression is ordered to marital love, in which the physical intimacy serves as a sign of permanent fidelity and spiritual communion. The use of artificial contraception of any kind is seriously sinful since every marital act must be open to life. Therefore, marital infidelity, divorce and remarriage, incest, and cohabitation are among some of the offenses against the sacredness of marriage.

Leviticus 15:1-33 Laws in this chapter cover the ritual impurities associated with discharges of the male and female reproductive systems. One miracle in the Gospels concerned a woman with a longstanding hemorrhage who was healed by touching the fringe of Christ’s garment (cf, Mt 9:20-22, Mk 5:25-34). (CCC 2616)

Psalm 76 Judah and Israel are mentioned interchangeably in this psalm, referring not to the separate kingdoms but to the whole body of the Chosen People. All the people of Israel were united especially in their divine worship in the Temple of Jerusalem. God also revealed himself to the Gentile nations through his mighty works and his punishment of the enemies of Israel. The Jewish nation was the vehicle for the advent of the Messiah who would bring the whole human race to salvation.

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

  • Ok so I need to go wash myself after reading that chapter in Leviticus ;)

  • The next few days of readings are ALL ABOUT THE LAWS

  • The good news about that is not that this is distant from us, but that it is revealing something about God’s Heart

  • The social laws in Exodus 22 are for RESTITUTION

  • Remember 2 days ago when Jethro, Moses’ father in law, is telling him how being the judge for the Israelites takes so much time and advises him to appoint other judges to work under him so that the Israelites can have their cases adjudicated in a timely manner

  • Today is about the principles of judgement ACCORDING TO JUSTICE


  • These laws of restitution have to do with JUSTICE and not VENGEANCE

  • Our hearts are inclined towards VENGEANCE

  • (Or haven’t you noticed as much in this political climate in the United States, if you live there? Or perhaps with so-called “cancel culture”?)

  • “If you do that one thing to me, then I want to do double that to you”

  • The Law of JUSTICE states that there are limits to VENGEANCE

  • What does that reveal?

  • This reveals the VERY HEART OF GOD

  • God reveals that HE IS JUSTICE ITSELF

  • What we will see in the remainder of Exodus is RESTRAINT

  • We will see what is FAIR

  • We will see that if you want to live in HARMONY with each other, YOU HAVE TO PURSUE JUSTICE MORE THAN VENGEANCE

  • (We can’t all be Batman 😉 )

  • It is important to live like this in order to have REAL COMMUNITY

  • Ok….Leviticus Ch 15

  • Bodily emissions are important, why?

  • They are important because the LIFE IS IN THE BLOOD

  • They are important because they refer to very INTRINSIC and NECESSARY parts of our relationships

  • There are four kinds of bodily emissions described, 2 for a man and 2 for a woman

  • Man: The first kind would be discharge from a venereal disease (STD)

The second kind would be semen

  • Woman: The first kind would be menstrual discharge

The second kind would be discharge from a venereal disease (STD)

  • Why would there be rules about this when it comes to cleanliness?


  • The emissions of the body refer to LIFE

  • This particular kind of emission have to do with SEX and REPRODUCTION and RELATIONSHIPS

  • There is some kind of restraint and guidance placed upon people when they are engaged in sexual acts with one another and when they are in community with each other

  • This is the genius of God’s Word


  • Uncleanness simply means that they are things that can bring forth life, and as such we have to be careful around them

  • It is important for us to rediscover this in the 21st century

  • Because these things are so connected to life, we need to be careful around them

  • It doesn’t mean we have to do what the people of Leviticus do

  • God’s heart is that of a JUST GOD who is trying to raise up a JUST PEOPLE

  • It is CRITICAL for us to understand this

  • We are called to be JUST PEOPLE who belong to a JUST GOD

  • We are also called to be the kind of people who treat SACRED THINGS AS SACRED

  • We are also called to be the kind of people who treat IMPORTANT THINGS AS IMPORTANT

  • We are also called to be the kind of people who treat DANGEROUS THINGS AS DANGEROUS

  • Like it or not, sex is dangerous (even though it is a good thing)

  • We need to treat these big, dangerous, sacred things as HOLY THINGS, with RESPECT

Prayer by Fr Mike: "Father in Heaven, we give you thanks. Thank you so much for your Word. Thank you for sharing with us your Heart. Even in your law, which can seem so distant to us, can seem so dry, so other worldly, and even so confusing, we thank you because it reveals your Heart. We ask that you please continue to reveal your heart to us as we reveal our hearts to you. You are the Lord and we are yours. Help us to be yours more and more every day. We make this prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen."