Fratelli Tutti 270: Plowshares

270. I ask Christians who remain hesitant on this point, and those tempted to yield to violence in any form, to keep in mind the words of the book of Isaiah: “They shall beat their swords into plowshares” (2:4).

Alas, many people do not see capital punishment as violence. They see it as justice. But any deprivation of life is, by definition, violent. 

Jesus from the Passion:

For us, this prophecy took flesh in Christ Jesus who, seeing a disciple tempted to violence, said firmly: “Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword” (Mt 26:52).

The Creator from the earliest of times:

These words echoed the ancient warning: “I will require a reckoning for human life. Whoever sheds the blood of a man, by man shall his blood be shed” (Gen 9:5-6).

And so the Lord Jesus gathers these Words and expresses his desire for human behavior and virtue:

Jesus’ reaction, which sprang from his heart, bridges the gap of the centuries and reaches the present as an enduring appeal.

Still a difficult thing for many who believe that a human being can forfeit her or his dignity by criminal action. Where to draw the line on the crime? Only God makes that judgment.

All citations of Fratelli Tutti (which can be found on this link) are © Copyright – Libreria Editrice Vaticana.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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