Today’s Thoughts: Today’s Gospel (Luke 4:14-22a) presents us with a moment in Jesus' early ministry when he returns home perhaps for a weekend visit. This story whenever I read it always seems to paint two pictures for me, one of a moment in the life of Jesus and the other a moment in our own lives.
The moment in Jesus' life is straight forward he returns home and like a good young man honors his faith by going to the synagogue on the Sabbath. He is now a wise young man with a reputation as a preacher, so he is honored by being asked to do the reading. So, he stands up and is handed the scroll of the Prophet Isaiah and proceeds to read the passage where Isaiah says, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me..."
This a very familiar passage to us and the community gathered for prayer that day. After the reading Jesus just sits down but everyone there is in awe of him and all eyes are focused on Jesus. After what probably was just a few moments of awkward silence, Jesus simple says, "Today this Scripture passage if fulfilled in your hearing." Perhaps in other words, "Folks, this is what my life is going to be about, today my ministry starts!" With those words all present are even more amazed! A pretty straightforward picture wouldn't you say?
Now as for the second picture of us – every one of us have had a moment like Jesus. We have been in our own parish church perhaps for a sacrament, baptism, confirmation, first communion, marriage and a community has gathered. At some point during that sacrament all eyes are on us, watching us receive baptism, receive communion, take our vows, be anointed with oil. After the mass or the service people have come up to us and congratulated us and have spoken highly of us because of this special moment in our lives.
The difference between Jesus' picture and ours is that we know the end of Jesus' story. We know he did fulfill the words of Isaiah by the way he lived, died and rose from the dead. However, we don't know the end of our story! Will we fulfill the words of our baptism, our confirmation, our marriage, our priesthood, our religious life, our Eucharist?
Today we are asked once again to love in our first reading from St. John and in doing so to live that love as best we can by bringing the gift and presence of God to the world. We are asked to stand up and proclaim the Good News with our life and let that proclamation be fulfilled in the way we live our faith! So, my friends, stand tall, love richly and live fully today and always!
Have a great Thursday everyone.
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...