By Jim Orcutt, Co-Founder of My Brother's Keeper

These personal reflections on the Monday gospel represent my insight of Christ’s message as viewed through the lens of my life experience. It is my hope that others will be inspired to reflect upon their views as well.
Date: September 4, 2017
September 4, 2017

Gospel LK 4:16-30

Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had grown up,
and went according to his custom
into the synagogue on the sabbath day.
He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah.
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.”
And all spoke highly of him
and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth.
They also asked, “Is this not the son of Joseph?”
He said to them, “Surely you will quote me this proverb,
‘Physician, cure yourself,’ and say, ‘Do here in your native place
the things that we heard were done in Capernaum.'”
And he said,
“Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place.
Indeed, I tell you,
there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah
when the sky was closed for three and a half years
and a severe famine spread over the entire land.
It was to none of these that Elijah was sent,
but only to a widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon.
Again, there were many lepers in Israel
during the time of Elisha the prophet;
yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”
When the people in the synagogue heard this,
they were all filled with fury.
They rose up, drove him out of the town,
and led him to the brow of the hill
on which their town had been built, to hurl him down headlong.
But he passed through the midst of them and went away.

Reflection:

After being baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordon River, Jesus went to the desert and resisted the temptations of the Devil.

Now, ready to begin His ministry of spreading the knowledge of God’s love and forgiveness, He went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, “as was His custom.”

Jesus clearly did not approve of the way the scribes and Pharisees were imposing their stringent interpretation of religious law upon the people. Nevertheless, He did not abandon His religion. Jesus continued to attend synagogue to make God’s love known since the synagogue was where the people went to learn about God.

“He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah.
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.”

He said to them,
“Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”

Jesus was announcing that it was “His” mission “to bring glad tidings to the poor..liberty to the captives…recovery of sight to the blind….to let the oppressed go free.”
As followers of Jesus Christ, we are called to adopt Jesus’ mission as our own.

Jesus lives through our efforts to “bring glad tidings to the poor” by giving them hope.
Jesus is risen each time our actions help a man or woman free themselves from the “captivity” of alcoholism or drugs.

We bring Jesus to life on earth when we love those who are “blind” to God’s love.
And, Christ’s life has meaning when we “free the oppressed” through our struggles to fight injustice.

Saint Paul said, “It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me.” Galatians 2:20



A suggestion: Ask yourselves this question.
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