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.
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