Speaking of New Year’s resolutions, today’s reading offers a worthy one: holding our public officials and civil servants accountable, not to human self-righteousness-the persistent temptation of naturally self-centred mortals-but to the divine righteousness of God.
Today’s psalm envisions social justice as the primary responsibility of all governing authority (verse 1) and establishes it as the necessary foundation for all subsequent progress toward economic prosperity (verse 3) which, in turn, yields liberation from the oppression of poverty (verse 4) and, ultimately, reaps God’s promised harvest of everlasting peace. (verse 7)
The psalm also recognizes that maintaining God’s holy standards will not be fully accomplished during the reign of any particular monarch, nor the term of any elected government, for that matter. Rather, it remains the vocation of each successive generation (verse 5) to identify social injustice and remind those entrusted with the divine right of serving the common good to protect the dignity of all people marginalized by current political systems and social structures, which is the inherent right God gives each and every human being created in the divine image.
Give all who govern the clear vision of your justice, O God, that all your children may learn to share your divine righteousness of justice, prosperity, freedom and peace. Amen. — PL