In a lost village of Galilee, named Nazareth, the inhabitants gather in the synagogue one Sabbath morning to listen to the Word of God. After a few years spent in the desert looking for God, Jesus returns to the town where he had grown up. The scene is of great importance in knowing Jesus and understanding his mission. According to Luke’s account, in this village, unknown to almost everyone, Jesus will introduce himself as God’s Prophet and present his program, as he applies to himself a text of the prophet Isaiah.
After reading the text, Jesus gives a one-sentence commentary: “Today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” According to Luke, the people “looked intently on him.” Everyone’s attention turned from the read text to the person of Jesus.What is it that we can discover today if we keep our eyes fixed eyes on him?
Moved by the Spirit of God. Jesus’ entire life is impelled, led and given direction by God’s breath, strength and love. To believe in the divinity of Jesus is not to make a theoretical confession of a dogmatic formula, elaborated by Councils. It is to go on discovering concretely, in his words and deeds, his tenderness and his fire, the ultimate Mystery of life that we believers call “God.”
God’s Prophet. Jesus has not been anointed with olive oil as kings were anointed in order to convey the power to govern or as high priest were, too, so that they may be invested with sacred power. He has been “anointed” by God’s Spirit. He comes neither to govern nor to reign. He is God’s Prophet who is committed to set life free. We can only follow him if we learn to live with his prophetic spirit.
Good news for the poor. His actions are good news for the most destitute and marginalized social class: those who most need to hear something good; those who are humiliated and forgotten by all. We begin to resemble Jesus when the poor can take our life, our actions and our solidarity-oriented love to be something that is good.
Committed to bring freedom. He lives devoting himself to free human beings from all kinds of enslavement. People sense him to be a deliverer from sufferings, oppressions and abuses; the blind see him as light that frees people from meaninglessness and hopelessness; sinners receive him as grace and forgiveness. We follow Jesus when we are being freed from everything that enslaves, demeans or dehumanizes us. We believe, then, in him as Savior who sets us on the path toward the definitive Life.
José Antonio Pagola
January 27, 20133 Ordinary TimeLuke 1:1-4; 4:14-21