1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Luke 4:16-30


Scripture is much more full of hope than of journalism: peace on earth proclaimed when there is no peace, the inversion of unjust power hierarchies proclaimed while they are still firmly in place. At first glance, it all seems a bit premature: Will we not look foolish, hymning our liberation while we are still in chains?

History validates that the proclamation of liberty always precedes its actual birth. Our experience vouches for the fact that all ideas lived in the human imagination before they became flesh in the human community. So, it is true of all prophecy. So it is also with Jesus: he proclaims liberation and healing before it comes to pass. His very life will come and go, looking for all the world like a failure: picked up by the authorities, convicted in a sorry excuse for a trial on a trumped-up charge, tortured, and then executed, his followers in hiding. No first-century king or emperor bites the dust because of him. Israel does not get free. Indeed, within a few decades, the temple will be destroyed, and the Jews will be scattered to the four winds.

Take a step back, and 2000 years have passed. We have had to re-interpret what the coming of Messiah means not once but many times, confronted by existential realities/issues. It is good, then, for us to remember how we first received the masonic hope in the gospel of Luke: justice and healing for those who suffer illness and wrong.

Giltus Mathias CP is a Passionist that lives at St.Brigid’s Retreat, Marrickville.