Sunday, January 24, 2016

Reflection: Luke 1:1-4; 4:14-21

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time – Luke 1:1-4; 4:14-21

Today we hear the opening words of the Gospel of Luke.  He begins his Gospel acknowledging that many individuals had written narratives of Jesus and the events that had been fulfilled.  Luke then writes:  “I have decided to write an orderly sequence and an accurate account of Jesus’ life and ministry.”  Thus Luke begins his chronicle of the life and works of Jesus Christ. 

This Sunday, the Gospel reading focuses on the beginning of Jesus’ ministry.  Luke writes: “Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit.”  News of Jesus’ return spread far and wide in Galilee.  He taught in the synagogues and he was praised for his teaching.

Jesus then went to Nazareth where he had grown up.  He arrived there on the Sabbath and He immediately went to the synagogue.  Jesus picked up scroll from the prophet Isaiah, unrolled it, and read a passage from the prophet Isaiah: “The spirit of the Lord is upon me.  He has anointed me and sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, to free the oppressed, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.”  Jesus then handed the scroll to the attendant and looked intently at the people.  Then with great conviction Jesus said: “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”

Today, Jesus invites us to share in his ministry.   He has anointed us and sent us to “proclaim liberty to captives, give sight to the blind, free the oppressed and proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.”  This is our call no matter who we are.  Jesus empowers us to heal and to preach His Word.  We may not have the ability to “free” every captive.  However, if we love one another unconditionally, our love and care may “free” a person of their loneliness or despair.  Or perhaps, we may help “lift” someone’s oppression of body, mind or spirit.  We are not Jesus, but Jesus has commissioned us to be his disciples on this earth.  As his disciples, we are called to share the good news and help anyone who is in need.  

Today be attentive to the individuals you may encounter who may be “bound.” Strive to open the minds and hearts of the individuals who yearn to see God.  Help lift someone’s burden of mind, body and spirit.  You and I are called to walk in Jesus’ footsteps, and if we do so, we may give a simple but great gift to a person who is in need.

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