From the desk of Ms. Kathleen Cook, Director of Religious Education
Theme: Luke 1:1-4; 4:14-21
In the synagogue at Nazareth, Jesus reads aloud from the scroll of the prophet Isaiah and announces that this Scripture is now fulfilled.
Summary: In today’s Gospel, Saint Luke speaks about how he and many people have begun compiling a record of events to teach about Jesus Christ. Saint Luke invites the listener to be attentive, to listen not only with their ears but also with their heart. Later in today’s Gospel, Jesus reads aloud from the scroll of Isaiah and announces words of great hope. He finishes the reading by saying Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing, thus highlighting the importance of the attentiveness of those who listen to the Gospel.
Scripture: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” And he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
One day Jesus was in Nazareth on the Sabbath so he went to the temple as he always did. When he stood up to read the Scriptures, he was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. He looked through the book until he found the part that said, “The Lord’s Spirit has come to me and has chosen me to tell the good news to the poor. He has sent me to free the prisoners, give sight to the blind, and to set everyone free from their suffering.”
When he had finished reading, he handed the book back to the man who was in charge and sat down. Everyone in the place was looking at Jesus and waiting to see what he would say. Jesus said to them, “What you have just heard me read has come true today.” What did Jesus mean?
He meant that he was the one who came to make us happy and whole the way God intended for us to be. He came to heal the sick and the lame. He came to make the blind to see and to free us from sin. Now if we want to have what Jesus came to give, we must put our trust in him and do what he has told us to do.
Dear Father, we thank you for your love. We thank you for sending your Son to free us from sin so that we can know the joy that you want for us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Reflect: If a word or phrase from the Gospel captures your heart, sit quietly for several minutes, repeating it to yourself and asking God to show you how it applies to your life.
Or reflect and possibly journal on the following question: Who is someone who inspires you by how actively he or she lives the Christian mission?
Suggested book that compliments today’s Gospel:
The Attentive Lion
Written by Efrat Haddi
Family Discussion: Jesus was the one sent by God to bring salvation to the world. Jesus announced that mission using the framework we hear in today’s Gospel from the prophet Isaiah: glad tidings will be brought to the poor, liberty to captives, recovery of sight for the blind, and freedom for the oppressed. Jesus inaugurates the Kingdom of God in his person—through his life, death, and
Resurrection. We are charged with the task of continuing the mission that Jesus began. Jesus set the framework for all of us when he announced his ministry in today’s Gospel. Jesus also gave us the helper we would need to enable us to participate in his mission. The Holy Spirit has been given to us so that we, the Church, might serve the Kingdom of God.
Gather with your family and suggest that they try to picture the vision that Jesus describes using the words of the prophet Isaiah as you read today’s Gospel, Luke 1:1-4; 4:14-21.Think about your neighborhood, your community. What are the situations and who are the people who most need to see this vision fulfilled? What steps would be necessary to make the vision a reality for them? Make a family commitment to pray for the Kingdom of God and to take a particular action that will address a need you see in your community. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you by praying the Prayer to the Holy Spirit.