Sunday, January 24, 2016

Sunday's Message: Luke 1:1-4, 4:14-21

Welcome back to another edition of Sunday's Message.  When I did this series last year, I showed all the readings for that particular Sunday.  However, this year I have decided to focus on just one reading each week.  I would like to pick out the one that really strikes me, particularly in light of The Message: Catholic/Ecumenical Edition translation, which often arouses some spirited debate on this blog.  (I hope it continues to do so!)   On my part, along with providing a particular reading each week, I plan to offer some personal reflections, as well as the occasional question or two for you to ponder. 

The Gospel reading this week seems perfect for the Jubilee Year of Mercy.  We see Jesus proclaiming the fulfilment of the prophet Isaiah's words, as found in chapter 61 of Isaiah.  How often I have read those words of "pardon" and "recovery" and "good news" yet never allowed them to be planted deep into my soul.  This is the type of passage which I need to constantly remind myself isn't simply meant for a people far off, both in location and history.  No, these are words meant for me as well.  Perhaps this would be a good week to consider how our Lord has brought healing into your life or has shown undeserved mercy towards you.  I know that I will be.  For He is not in some distant place, but right here, right now in "this place."

Luke 1:1-4, 4:14-21
So many others have tried their hand at putting together a story of the wonderful harvest of Scripture and history that took place among us, using reports handed down by the original eyewitnesses who served this Word with their very lives. Since I have investigated all the reports in close detail, starting from the story’s beginning, I decided to write it all out for you, most honorable Theophilus, so you can know beyond the shadow of a doubt the reliability of what you were taught.

Jesus returned to Galilee powerful in the Spirit. News that he was back spread through the countryside. He taught in their meeting places to everyone’s acclaim and pleasure.
He came to Nazareth where he had been reared. As he always did on the Sabbath, he went to the meeting place. When he stood up to read, he was handed the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Unrolling the scroll, he found the place where it was written,
God’s Spirit is on me;
he’s chosen me to preach the Message of good news to the poor,
Sent me to announce pardon to prisoners and
recovery of sight to the blind,
To set the burdened and battered free,
to announce, “This is God’s year to act!”
He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the assistant, and sat down. Every eye in the place was on him, intent. Then he started in, “You’ve just heard Scripture make history. It came true just now in this place.”

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