January 6 2022 Gospel reading and Reflection: Luke 4:14-22

A reading from the gospel according to Luke 4:14-22

14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news of him spread throughout the whole region.
15 He taught in their synagogues and was praised by all.
16 He 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
17 and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written:
18 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,
19 and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.
20 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.
21 He said to them, “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”
22 And all spoke highly of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth.

Points for Reflection:

1. Jesus was filled with the power of the Holy Spirit as he returned to His native town of Nazareth and as He preached in their synagogue. There He announced the good news of His mission and in a brief moment, all spoke highly of Him and were amazed at His gracious words.

We too can receive the power of the Holy Spirit. All we have to do is open our heart and empty ourselves of sin to make room for the Holy Spirit.

2. The mission of Jesus is quoted directly from Isaiah 61:1-2. However, He stopped at the “proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.” Then He rolled up the scroll and sat down. In the original verse of Isaiah, there was the continuation “and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,” Then Jesus added, “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” Let us read again the two passages: Luke 4:18-19 and Isaiah 61:1-2 and see the difference. Indeed, Jesus proclaimed a year of favor and it is fulfilled in our hearing but the second part “the day of vengeance…” will have to wait until His Second Coming. The implication is that we still have time to experience the favor of God, that we are still acceptable to Him. However, during His second coming, judgment will be done upon all and there will be no more excuses.

3. The physical and spiritual problems of poverty, captivity, blindness and oppression still exist in our world today. Let us ask ourselves, what have we done to solve these problems? Perhaps, we are the sources of these problems or maybe by doing nothing, we have become and accomplices in the perpetuation of these problems. Let us ask the Holy Spirit to empower as we look for solutions to these evils in our society.

4. As we enter the New Year, we rejoice at the acceptance and favor God is bestowing upon us. We thank Him for the restoration of our freedom, our sight and the joy of being saved from poverty. As His followers, the mission of Jesus is also our mission. Let us start rolling our sleeves and begin the New Year by proclaiming the Good News everywhere. The best way to do it is to live it and let others see the Good News in our life.

See further reflection here.

Gospel Reading and Reflection for January 6, 2022
Gospel Reading and Reflection for January 6, 2022

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