The last few week’s we’ve been given the grace to meditate on the first three luminous mysteries of Christ’s life. The Gospel’s brought us to Jesus’baptism, the wedding feast at Cana, and as we read last Sunday, Jesus preaching the Kingdom of God.
Jesus returns to his hometown of Nazareth. Word had been spreading about him. He was preaching in the synagogues throughout Galilee and he was being praised by all who heard him. No doubt, much anticipation was building as he entered the house of worship he attended since childhood. What would he read? What would he say? Is what they are saying about our neighbor true? These were the questions on the lips of people as they packed the house to hear him.
You could hear a pin drop as he was handed the scroll of the prohept Isaiah. His voice was strong yet the reflection he intoned was compassionate and thoughtful, “The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.”
He hands back the scroll and sits down. “All the eyes in the synagogue looked intently at him”. On the edge of their seats they waited, they wanted to understand, they wanted the rumors to be true. Jesus said to them, “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:14-21).
Amen. Sittig comfortably in the 21st Century, we know this to be true. Jesus accomplished all this and more. He cured many people who were lame and sick. He was a welcome visitor in the lives of the poorest of the poor. He liberated from captivity those held bound by the strict laws and beliefs that hindered people from knowing God. He recovered the inner sight of those who were led astray by false prophets and fake deities. Those oppressed by sin were set free and their hearts cleansed to follow God anew. Those years prior to his Passion were acceptable to God — where people were reintroduced to God and called to rejoice and believe in his saving power.
Today, this scripture is fulfilled in our hearing. Let us not only hear what Jesus preaches but may we allow him to bring us glad tidings, liberate us from false teaching, open our eyes to the truth of the church, and purify our hearts. In this way we can go forth and preach the Kingdom through our living example.