JAN. 7. CHRISTMAS SEASON. LK. 4. 14-22
Updated: Jul 24
Jesus, with the power of the Spirit in him, returned to Galilee; and his reputation spread throughout the countryside. He taught in their synagogues and everyone praised him.
He came to Nazara, where he had been brought up, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day as he usually did. He stood up to read and they handed him the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Unrolling the scroll he found the place where it is written:
The spirit of the Lord has been given to me,
for he has anointed me.
He has sent me to bring the good news to the poor,
to proclaim liberty to captives
and to the blind new sight,
to set the downtrodden free,
to proclaim the Lord’s year of favour.
He then rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the assistant and sat down. And all eyes in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to speak to them, ‘This text is being fulfilled today even as you listen.’ And he won the approval of all, and they were astonished by the gracious words that came from his lips.
What we have here is Jesus laying claim to the truth he has been sent by God the Father to bring good news to his people in that, while they had previously been “captives” of pride, selfishness and sin, but they had now been given their “freedom!”
This is a very significant statement as it means our pride, selfishness and sinful inclinations had not been “removed”; - but rather we had been given an alternative way of living: - a new way of life we were now “free” to choose.
God, in sending his son, did not remove pride and selfishness, but he did open up a “way of life”, we could follow; - something not available prior to Christ’s birth! In addition we had been given “new sight”! This is significant as it refers to being given the gift of Faith; - by which we are able to “see” things in a new light; - a way revealed to us by our Creator!
Death provides us with an example of this new sight as, prior to Christ’s coming, death was a disaster without hope; - whereas the Christian Faith teaches us, not only that death should not be feared, but we can even look forward to it; - because of Christ’s life and message!
Christians, sadly, do not reflect often enough on what earthly life would be like had not God the Father sent his Son to redeem us! In essence there would be no Faith, no Hope and no Love and our lives would be be focused solely on selfishness and sin; - to be followed by eternal punishment; - which would be well deserved!
Another gift we take for granted, and need to reflect on is how Christ; - through his passion and death; - has now given “value”; - redeeming value; - to life’s trials and sufferings. This is what Christ was referring to when he said “the downtrodden will be set free!”
Christ was right then, to proclaim here, how fortunate we are he had been sent to his people!
Gospel Acclamation Luke 4:18
The Lord sent me to bring Good News to the poor
and freedom to prisoners.