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

Today, Jesus invites us to share in his ministry.   He has anointed us and sent us to “proclaim liberty to captives, give sight to the blind, free the oppressed and proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.”  This is our call no matter who we are.  Jesus empowers us to heal and to preach His Word.  We may not have the ability to “free” every captive.  However, if we love one another unconditionally, our love and care may “free” a person of their loneliness or despair.  Or perhaps, we may help “lift” someone’s oppression of body, mind or spirit.  We are not Jesus, but Jesus has commissioned us to be his disciples on this earth.  As his disciples, we are called to share the good news and help anyone who is in need.

Today be attentive to the individuals you may encounter who may be “bound.” Strive to open the minds and hearts of the individuals who yearn to see God.  Help lift someone’s burden of mind, body and spirit.  You and I are called to walk in Jesus’ footsteps, and if we do so, we may give a simple but great gift to a person who is in need.