How Jesus fulfils the text today
By Rosemarie Siewnarine
LUKE 1:1-4; 4:14–21
Today’s gospel combines two separate passages taken from the Gospel of Luke. Jesus went to Nazareth where He had grown up, arrived on the Sabbath and immediately went to the synagogue.
Jesus picked up a scroll from the prophet Isaiah, unrolled it, and read a passage. The gospel text in today’s liturgy shows the beginning of the public ministry of Jesus.
He begins with a manifesto, borrowing His mission statement from the Prophet Isaiah (61): “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me….”
Jesus, however, personalises these words and makes an addition to the proclamation: “This text is being fulfilled today even as you listen” (Lk 4:21).
This points us to the core of today’s gospel text, the mission of Jesus here on earth: “To bring the good news to the poor”.
This is the first mention of the poor in Luke; already we have seen that the powerful and rich are sent away empty, while the hungry are filled with good things (Lk 1:52–53). Those who are at the bottom of society are the Spirit’s chosen recipients of the Good News.
As we hear these words, we are invited to contemplate our response and action in bringing the Good News to the poor.
Are we bringing the good news to the poor— those in need of physical, material, or basic needs, economically disadvantaged, the marginalised of our society, those poor in spirit etc?
We are called and anointed with the Spirit to bring the Good News as Jesus. Today, Jesus invites us to share in His ministry. He has anointed us and sent us “to proclaim liberty to captives and to the blind new sight, to set the downtrodden free, to proclaim the Lord’s year of favour.”
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 commissioned 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.
As Jesus rolled up the scroll and gave it back saying, “This text is being fulfilled today even as you listen”, it is being fulfilled in each of us answering to the call of Christ. You and I are called to walk in Jesus’ footsteps. Let’s walk with Him.
Holy Spirit of God, you are the living force in the words of the Gospel we proclaim. You are the wind on which the message about Jesus is borne to others. Our agenda is to proclaim you. Help us to respond to the call of this Gospel in our daily lives knowing that you are with us as we serve the people of God. Amen.
The gospel meditations for January are by Rosemarie Siewnarine, a teacher at Carapichaima RC Primary, and a parishioner of Our Lady of Mt Carmel RC Church, Carapichaima.