Sunday Readings: Nehemiah 8.2-4, 5-6, 8-10; 1 Corinthians 12.12-30; Luke 1.1-4, 4.14-21
Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had been raised. He went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day as he usually did and stood up to read. The scroll of Isaiah the prophet was handed to him. Unrolling the scroll, Jesus found the place where it was written —
“The Spirit of God is upon me,
for God has anointed me
and sent me to proclaim good news to the poor,
to proclaim liberty for captives,
sight to the blind, release to prisoners,
to announce a year of favor from the Lord.”
Rolling up the scroll, Jesus gave it back to the assistant and sat down. Everyone in the synagogue fixed their eyes on him. He began to talk to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing”
Jesus announces a jubilee year, every 50th year when the Book of Leviticus directs Jews to free prisoners from their debts, to return land to those who have lost it, to set prisoners free to live again. This is Jesus’ mission: to bring good news to people who are poor and a new start for the burdened and imprisoned. He brings a new day among people with little and teaches us to value every person. It’s all too easy to look down on and blame people who are poor, especially because it has the benefit of freeing the privileged from helping. Our anointing with the Spirit in baptism calls each of us to take up this mission.
Who are the “poor’ with whom you live each day?