Reflections - January 24, 2016

“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.  Lk. 4:18-19.
The Gospel tells us that Jesus, on the Sabbath in the synagogue of His town Nazareth, was called to read the Scriptures and, of course, to explain them.  The passage that the Lord chose was from the prophet Isaiah.  It is at this moment that Jesus explains His plan for salvation for His people in Israel and for all the men of the world.  Jesus tells them that He has been “anointed to preach the Good News to the poor”.
Who are the poor?  The poor are those who do not know the Lord’s mercy.  In our city there are many poor people who are “captive” of their selfishness and superficialities.  There are also others that are “blind” because they live, as Pope Francis says, “retracted – looking at themselves”, I would say in their “ivory towers” disconnected from the “real world”.
The Lord tells us:  “I have come to let the oppressed go free”.  There are many people who live oppressed by solitude, drug, unbridled sex, fear of the elderly and the “bully” against them which are not only against children in schools, but also in social environments…..
But we have Good News.  Jesus brings us a “year of grace”.  How well Pope Francis explains it to us in the Bull of the Jubilee of Mercy when he says:  The preaching of Jesus is again visible in the responses of faith that Christian witnesses are called to offer.  “Whomever practices mercy should do so with joy”.  Rom. 12:8.
I end with these words from the Pope:  “Let us open our eyes to look at the misery in the world, the wounds of so many brothers and sisters deprived of dignity……may their cries become our own and together may we break the barriers of indifference.  It is my greatest desire that all Christian people reflect during the Jubilee on the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy…….to awaken our consciences…….
When you receive Communion ask yourself:  How can you bring the “Good News” and the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy to those who are around you?