Gospel LK 1:1-4; 4:14-21
Since many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the events
that have been fulfilled among us,
just as those who were eyewitnesses from the beginning
and ministers of the word have handed them down to us,
I too have decided,
after investigating everything accurately anew,
to write it down in an orderly sequence for you,
most excellent Theophilus,
so that you may realize the certainty of the teachings
you have received.
Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit,
and news of him spread throughout the whole region.
He taught in their synagogues and was praised by all.
He came to Nazareth, where he had grown up,
and went according to his custom
into the synagogue on the sabbath day.
He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah.
He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written:
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.
Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down,
and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him.
He said to them,
"Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing."
+Prayer: Come Holy Spirit, Come by the means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Thy well beloved Spouse. Amen.
“To proclaim liberty to captives”, - We live in a culture, that yearns for freedom. We long to be free, unhindered, unfettered and unrestrained by others because it is very ‘instinctual’ to us, that freedom is a gift from God and no one has a right to harness this intrinsic right of freedom. Perhaps we are living in quite a paradox. As resolutely as we may fight (interiorly and exteriorly) for our freedom, we are the very ones, who limit our freedom every day, by the choices we make that take us apart from Christ, choices for self which only enslave us and rob us of true freedom. The ‘battle’ to protect our freedom is first fought within our souls. As children of God we are called to live in the peace and freedom found only in God and we are called to help our brothers and sisters in Christ, open their hearts to this same freedom.
This passage brings to mind a memory of dear friends of mine, Jim and Mary. Years back, when their children were young, Mary shared with me, how the older son Jamie, would see his younger brother Joe, in the high chair crying his eyes out and Jamie (3 year old) would try to squirm out of his ‘big boy chair” (modified high chair) and escape only to try to help his brother get out too! Now, pull this closer to home. Am I trying to break free of sin? How am I doing that? Am I trying to help others break free of sin and experience the freedom of the children of God? Through the power of the Gospel? The Sacraments? Coming into a true loving relationship with Mary?
Everyday Jesus is speaking to us, in the Gospel, calling us to new life in Him, calling us from captivity into freedom, the freedom of the children of God. What in my life, ‘holds me down’ ‘holds me back’ from just being free? Free to Love and be loved?