God’s law and human law PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 26 March 2017 15:03

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

WE need to understand this point very well. And more importantly, we also need to understand the many intricate and practical implications involved in relating our human law with God’s law.

With the way today’s legal and juridical systems worldwide are drifting toward extreme positivism that simply bases itself on our perceptual experiences and people’s consensus and systematically shutting out any input from faith and divine revelation, we need to remind ourselves that God’s law is in fact the foundation, the inspiration and the perfection of our human law.

In other words, without any reference to God’s law, our human law cannot help but be out on a limb. For all the brilliance, wisdom and success a Godless human law can have and accomplish, it can only go so far. It cannot go the distance required by our human dignity. Sooner or later, it will fail and fall into forms of injustice, many of them so subtle that injustice can be committed under cover of our human law.

A clear example of this latter case is the law on abortion. It is a lot worse than the so-called extrajudicial killing we are hearing about these days. Abortion is clear murder of the most defenceless member of our human society—the infant while inside the mother’s womb.

Of course, rationalizations can come aplenty. It’s not yet a baby, they say. It’s just a bundle of tissues. It does not have life on its own. But no one can contest the fact that that so-called clump of tissues has the DNA of the parents, and that it cannot but be a living baby if it is allowed to develop to its full course and no problems and complications come along the way.

The Bible has many passages that the unborn is already a child, a person, chosen by God, etc. The Book of Jeremiah, for example, says: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before  you were born I consecrated you. I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.” (1,5)

And to be more blunt about it, precisely Christ before he was born was already the Son of God who became man to redeem us! Could Mary and Joseph have thought of aborting the unborn Christ because they thought he was just a bunch of tissues while still in the womb?

Of course, we have to understand that to make God’s law the foundation, inspiration and perfection of our human law is not going to be easy. It would require effort to plunge deep in our understanding of God’s law which is full of mysteries, which will always have something new to say even if we would already know its essential part.

This will require constant study and reflection, a lot of prayer and consultation, the habit of reading the changing signs of the times in the context of our faith, and also that basic attitude of always deferring to the authority of the Church magisterium who has been given the divine authority to teach and interpret God’s revelation.

There will always be a need to update, purify, amend, revise our human laws from time to time to make it more in synch with God’s law that is mainly characterized by mercy more than justice, forgiveness more than vindictiveness.

There certainly is a need for us, and especially our lawmakers and public officials, to be truly skilful in relating our human law with God’s law. Let us hope and pray that we can achieve this ideal.

Last Updated on Sunday, 26 March 2017 15:10