Gospel: Lk 4:16-30
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?” So he said, “Doubtless you will quote me the saying: Doctor, heal yourself! Do here, in your town, what they say you did in Capernaum.” Jesus added, “No prophet is honored in his own country. Truly, I say to you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens withheld rain for three years and six months and a great famine came over the whole land. Yet, Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow of Zarephath, in the country of Sidon. There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha, the prophet; and no one was healed except Naaman, the Syrian.” On hearing these words, the whole assembly became indignant. They rose up and brought him out of the town, to the edge of the hill on which Nazareth is built, intending to throw him down the cliff. But he passed through their midst and went his way.
After reading this passage from the prophet Isaiah, Jesus sits and in a silence full of expectation, teaches: “Today this scripture has been fulfilled.” He is the embodiment of all the scriptures and his proclamation of the Good News is not just direction-setting but already is witnessed in his life. The medium is the message. His presence among us begins the year of mercy. He is a merciful presence. The signs of mercy and closeness of God for the poor, the blind and the imprisoned and to all who are in need and helpless, become a reality in his words and deeds. Jesus himself is the “today” of God’s presence in history, because He completes the living witness of God’s mercy and love. The term “today” is very significant to Saint Luke (see 19, 9; 23, 43) to teach that Jesus is the savior. Already in the narratives of his infancy, this Evangelist refers the words of the angel to the shepherds: “Today, in the city of David, is born to you a Savior, Christ the Lord” (Lk 2:11). Every day can be the today of salvation because Jesus embodies the way of God. His words and actions reflect the salvific action of God in the here and now.
© Copyright Bible Diary 2018