A friend (Rev. Deacon Paul Rooney) points to a web site asking our solution on “how to fix the world.” There are some interesting remedies there, ranging all over the spectrum from “how to prevent tailgating” to “how to solve world hunger.” Like most inventions or pointed ideas, there is usually something missing; but what is not omitted is the problem that led to the search for a solution.
In our First Reading today (Is 61:1-2, 10-11) the “problem” is clearly stated. Far too many people are poor and broken hearted, and many are prisoners (both spiritually and physically). Social injustice and lack of brotherly love are at the root of the problem, caused and aggravated by an unfaithfulness to God’s expressed will for his people. This problem seems to appear in every generation, because even Jesus tells us that we will always have the poor with us (Mt 26:11). But the “solution” is also clearly stated by Isaiah. Unlike the “fix the world” website suggestions, which are more like dreams without a chance of fulfilment, the Prophet Isaiah points to the “core” of the matter: justice and love.
Our God is a God of mercy and love; he is also a God of justice. In His divine plan, justice and love go hand in hand and are almost synonymous. We see this clearly in the Commandments and Beatitudes, and in the “last judgment” scenes from scripture. We cannot have one without the other. For God calls us to be his disciples, the instruments of his love and justice.
You will know that the “spirit of the Lord is upon you” when you treat everyone equally; when you speak out against social injustice; when you denounce cultural immorality; when you obey God’s chosen representatives (the Catholic bishops); and when you engage regularly in the well-known trilogy of: prayer-almsgiving-fasting.
Jesus Christ made this scripture above from Isaiah his inaugural address, proclaiming the Good News. It is because he embraced our death that he can now communicate his own Spirit of life to us. Isaiah (and Jesus) use the language of “promise”, and his mission becomes the mission of the Church – you and me, his instruments for transforming the world. We are given the empowerment to do this through our Baptism and Confirmation.
See also The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) articles: #714: #713 #71: and #73