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 honourable 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, He has 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.”

Gospel Reflection

So, there was a time when Jesus was just one of the crowd – an everyman in the everyday; versed in the scripture and the tradition of Israel.

A good Jew, an ordinary Jew, who fitted into the society that he belonged to. Like us, he had gone to school, learnt to pray and to worship, he had been shown how to include God in his daily life. Like us, and Luke is very clear about this, Jesus was ‘ordinary’, in his life and in his faith.

All the wonderful mysticism and prophecy around his birth seems to have been forgotten. How? I often wonder. Why weren’t there tales of angels and wise men enlivening the words of the storytellers? Why did no-one listen when he was brought to the temple as a baby?

Whether it was a choice to disbelieve – after all, ’nothing good has ever come out of Nazareth’ – or a smokescreen by God to guarantee his Son this anonymity – it worked. Jesus was no-one special when he left his village in search of his fortune.

The return is something else; as carpenter and prophet; son of Mary and Son of God. The mission has begun in earnest. Luke promises his reader a well founded account – it begins with the fulfulling of a prophecy – and we call this ‘ordinary’ time.
What an understatement!