Gospel: Luke 4:14-22Jesus acted with the power of the Spirit; and on his return to Galilee, the news about him spread throughout all that territory. He began teaching in the synagogues of the Jews and everyone praised him.When Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, as he usually did. He stood up to read, and they handed him the book of the prophet Isaiah. Jesus then unrolled the scroll and found the place where it is written: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me.
He has anointed me, to bring good news to the poor; to proclaim liberty to captives; and new sight to the blind; to free the oppressed; and to announce the Lord’s year of mercy.”Jesus then rolled up the scroll, gave it to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he said to them, “Today, these prophetic words come true, even as you listen.” All agreed with him, and were lost in wonder, while he spoke of the grace of God. Nevertheless they asked, “Who is this but Joseph’s Son?”
“Who is this but Joseph’s Son?”
Jesus spends little time preaching in Nazareth, the place where he will always be known primarily as “Joseph’s son.”Even as he claims for himself the text from Isaiah, everyone is praising him and admiring what a good job he did reading from scripture. He then delivers what must count as one of the shortest homilies on record: “Today these prophetic words come true, even as you listen.”Well said, Jesus! But listen again to his text and imagine what it would mean to believe this prophesy was coming true in your hearing: good news to the poor, liberty to the captives and the oppressed… Here is a wholesale program of social upheaval. The point of the sermon is that these are not just pretty words from “Bible times”; they are happening now, in our presence! And yet Jesus has become so familiar to us that his challenging message glides right past. Nice sermon, Lord! (“Isn’t that the carpenter’s son?”) Every week at Mass we hear such prophetic words, but for us, the family of Jesus, they are so familiar that we fail to see and comprehend: These words are coming true in our hearing!
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