Sunday Readings: Jeremiah 1.4-5, 17-19, 1 Corinthians 13.4-13, Luke 4.21-30
After reading a passage from the prophet Isaiah in his hometown synagogue, Jesus sat down and began to speak. “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” All who were present spoke favorably of him; they marveled at the appealing discourse which came from his lips but also asked, “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” – Luke 4.21-22
In last Sunday’s gospel Jesus reads a passage from Isaiah that describes a prophet whom the Spirit anoints to bring good news to the poor, freedom to captives, sight to the blind. This prophet will inaugurate a jubilee year during which those who have lost out in society get a new chance to thrive. Jesus declares, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” He is this Spirit-filled prophet anointed and appointed to revive the people.
Jesus invites the synagogue congregation to hear Isaiah’s words not as an ancient, someday promise but as a present claim on their future and their loving actions toward one another. Today, he says, is the day for looking at the world from God’s point of view in which the poor and blind are as important as the rich and seeing. On this Sabbath in the midst of his own people, Jesus proclaims his mission: the Spirit, the giver of life, will work through him to heal, forgive, set free, and lift people up.
What new starts do people in your area need? How can you help? How can you continue Jesus’ mission? Who can you heal, forgive, free, lift up?