Thursday after Epiphany Jeudi après l’Epiphanie

’The spirit of the Lord is on me, for he has anointed me to bring good news tot he poor…to proclaim a year of favour from the Lord."
Thursday 26 November 2015

1 Jn.4,19-5 Ps.71 Lk.4,14-22

Thursday after the Epiphany

“Jesus came to Nazareth where he had been brought up, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day as he usually did. They handed him the scroll of the prophet Isaiah: they all had their eyes fixed on him. Jesus said ’The spirit of the Lord is on me, for he has anointed me to bring the good news tot he poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives, sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim a year of favour to the Lord.”

These words, that are taken up again by the Risen Lord Jesus when he addressed the word to his disciples on Easter evening : ’everything that was said of me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and Psalms had to be accomplished.’ The Gospel shows Jesus accomplishing on the day of the Sabbath gestures and activities that set people free, as the prophet Isaiah had announced. But the people of Nazareth are filled with anger towards Jesus when , quoting the examples of Elie and Elisa, Jesus clearly explains that the ’grace ’of God he announces and accomplishes is not reserved ’in an exclusive manner’ for themselves, as a particular privilege just for Israel. ’It is today that this Word is accomplished’, he said.

What an astonishing thing to occur : ’The Word became flesh and dwelt amongst you.’ ! A Love has been given to us, that is going to bring about the transformation of humanity. Jesus came to light a fire upon earth and how He would love for it to burn, taking with its flames the whole of humanity. ’This Good News is announced tot he poor!’

Mary, the Mother of Jesus, is the first one to take this path, she let God’s Love invade her so greatly. For ever more she remains the prototype of God’s action in humanity, and this message of Love reaches us today!

“Jesus rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the assistant and sat down. And all eyes in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to speak to them ’’This text is being filled today even while you are listening.”

Jesus’ mission is a setting free, the proclamation of Good News to the poor and to the excluded, a gift of a new vision of all that concerns man and his meaning of life. Through Jesus’ words and prophetic actions, the way God

communicates manifests the liberation. Jesus brings about through his whole commitment, right to his death, Resurrection and the sending of His Holy Spirit. In all this, Jesus accomplishes and ’goes beyond ’the Prophet Isaiah! Luke’s reconstitution of this prophesy remains an entire approach of this for us.

Mary is present in Nazareth, loving Jesus, she had said yes to God’s action in her life. Her child Jesus is the Son of God! He came back tot he village, much to the full joy of all the village at first ; Here Jesus is faced to everyone, the Infinite Love of God is given to humanity. And so the Word of God is offered to us each day, like a light for our life. Nourished by this Word, our life is going to bear an overabundant fruit, like Mary who went and followed Jesus. Mary believed in the Infinite Love of God and this has changesdthe whole world. This Love that is communicated by Jesus in the Heart of Mary is transmitted to Joseph to the apostle John and to us all today.

“And he won the approval of all, and they were astonished by the gracious words that came from his lips.”

However, the people from Nazareth are expecting something different : ’Isn’t that the son of Joseph?’ ’Do prodigious signs for us you do in other places!’

Jesus is not the one that the village people of Nazareth might think him to be. They must come to accept him just as he is. Jesus shows us just how hard it is for him to be welcomed throughout all of his ministry. The people who hear him have to go beyond their preconceived ideas of him- the Saviour and the role of the Messiah-Servant of God, gentle and humble of heart, is quite different to what they are expecting.

Doubt arises, like a suspicion, because the people haven’t understood! In fact, if we have been touched by the Infinite Love of God, we need to receive him like a free gift ,and so we are going to love and not going to get into a mind set of reasoning that will cancel out this free Gift.

Quenched by Living Waters, the mystery of the Infinite Love of God, the mystery of the Holy Spirit is given to us, and the desert of our own life will come to flower; so we can bear witness to this : Every man who believes that Jesus is the Christ, that person is truly born from God; each man who loves the Father loves the One born from him. When we love God, we recognise that we love God’s children. This is how Jesus’ Love has us be delivered up to Love, he

turns towards the poorest and the littlest who can hear this language of Love; it is the Revelation of Love!

We ask for the grace that we may love one another more and more.