Reflections - January 27, 2019

“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.’…….He said to them, ‘Today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing’.” Lk. 4:16-19, 21.

Today the Gospel of Luke presents us with Jesus explaining His liberating work to the poor and oppressed by evil. This passage is very important to understand the message of Christ the Savior.

There are several phrases used by Christ our Savior taken from the prophet Isaiah that I would like to share briefly with you.

My attention is drawn by the word “liberation” that is used for the different ways that the Lord acts towards the poor and oppressed. Returning sight to the blind and the hearing to the deaf are different ways of proclaiming their liberation by causing them joy, making them free. It occurs to me that this is a message for the New Evangelization, through the spoken word and the Christian Praxis, to take to the catechesis of the family environment. They are as the Beatitudes say: The poor in spirit, who identify with one another carrying the blessing, joy, and the promise of salvation.

The first Christians gave us this example as Paul says: “Now you are Christ’s Body, and individually parts of it”. 1 Cor 12:27. Many in the early Christian community gave their lives as they faced the oppression of the reign of evil, which also exits today with all its consequences of domination, blindness and ungodliness. Psalm 19 says: “The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul……the Lord’s commandments are true and just”.

Let us ask the Lord in the Eucharist to be liberating instruments for “the good that Christ brings is more powerful than evil”. Jesus reminds us: Today the message has been fulfilled in you, put into practice the message you have just heard “liberate all the oppressed from the chains with which the enemy enslaves them and help your brethren live in the freedom of the children of God”. Cardinal Martini.