Mary’s Magnificat challenges us to bend our sight, to look both forward and backward. For without a vision of the future, without a messianic hope, we can only ever mourn the past—we can never envision its regeneration, a new heaven and a new earth.
True worship has little to do with the ‘commodification’ of liturgy; it has everything to do with the performative embodiment of God’s redemptive narrative through justice, mercy and fidelity.
Transformation begins by inspiring—by breathing in—hope. Only then can we exhale justice. In ‘Immanuel’, God’s sign of hope for a desperate world, we find the means by which we can pursue justice.
In the declamation of Isaiah 1, the prophet associates Judah and its rulers with Sodom, for their inhospitality, injustice, and the presumption that they can hide this from God. Zacchaeus, a man characterized by such Sodom-like injustice, is delivered from this as justice is welcomed into his house in the person of Jesus.
Psalm 111, which may seem disjointed and a collection of sayings, does, however, offer a consistent political teaching. It emphasizes politics in virtuous imitation of God in his works and the rejection of the politics of fear.
Jesus bears God’s seal of origin, the sign that he is God’s message to humanity. Yet this seal often remains unbroken, the message unreceived.