“He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring glad tidings to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.
Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down,
and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him.
He said to them,
‘Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing’”.
Today’s Gospel includes these amazing lines from Lk 4:15-21.
This scene is amazing because of its impact on the past, present, and future. The Lord
Jesus is reading from a scroll that went back to around 700 B.C., and had been
revered greatly by the Jewish people. He establishes that the present moment for his
hearers is the one that the prophet Isaiah was anticipating: “Today this Scripture
passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” And, it points to the future which is where we
(the Church) come in with an opportunity. This Scripture passage from Isaiah and, of
course, the Gospel can be fulfilled through us!
Yes, this presents an opportunity for the promises of Isaiah about the Christ to be
fulfilled in us. Today’s second reading reminds us that we are all baptized into one
body, the Body of Christ. Christ lives through us and in us! The Spirit of the Lord is
upon us. We have been anointed in Christ to bring glad tidings to the poor, captives,
the blind, and the oppressed. And, especially during our parish’s 100th year, a year
acceptable to the Lord!
Our local Church gives us a tremendous opportunity to fulfill Isaiah in Christ,
specifically to bring glad tidings to the poor. Over the next couple of weeks, the
Archdiocese of Washington will be asking for our financial help in its extraordinary
corporal and spiritual works of mercy. We can support their daily, heavy lifting at
Catholic Charities, Anchor Mental Health, with Black and Hispanic Catholics, young
adults, families, campus ministries, and tuition assistance for Catholic students and
inner city schools. Christ began these messianic works, the Church continues them in
His name, and we can share in them.
The Cardinal’s Appeal is not “just another collection”. It is an opportunity, especially
in our Jubilee Year as well as a Year of Mercy, to honor God and His promises. It is
an opportunity to give generously to God and His people because He has given so
generously to us. “Remember that each day is God’s gift to you. What you do with it
is your gift back to God”.
–Sincerely in Christ,