Thursday, January 10, 2008
Today's Gospel is taking us into the beginning of Jesus' preaching ministry (in an episode which results in his definitive departure from Nazareth). He is in the local synagogue, the place where he worshiped every Sabbath with his relatives and neighbors, and stands to do the reading. (I love that: God knowing how to read our human letters!) It wouldn't have mattered what scroll he had been handed, he would have been able to say at the end, "Today, this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing." Of course he is the fulfillment of the words he is reading. But it wasn't just any Scripture: it was Isaiah's prophecy of one sent "to preach good news to the poor" and to give sight to the blind and to heal the crippled and to set captives free. And the people of Nazareth marveled at Jesus' homily: at the "words of grace" he spoke. It's beautiful to think of those "words of grace" coming from the son of her who was called, in that town, "full of grace" the day he himself was conceived. What Isaiah's prophecy did in the Nazareth synagogue was to specify the grace of God that was being unleashed on the world, and that we are still celebrating as the Christmas season comes nearer to its close.
Posted by Sr Anne Flanagan at 5:19 PM