“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me.”

For today’s Chrism Mass, the final reading comes from Luke (4:16-21).   Jesus has just started His public ministry in Galilee but was gaining renown quickly.  Today we read about Jesus returning to the town in which He grew up, Nazareth.  Going to synagogue on the sabbath, He is given the scriptures to read, specifically Isaiah.  He turns to the passage which begins with the words above (Is 61:1-2) and then, closing the book, declares “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing” (v. 21).  Appropriate for this celebration as, just as Jesus speaks of His anointing by the Spirit for proclamation and service to the poor, captives, blind, oppressed, at this Mass, the bishop blesses the oil of catechumens, the oil of the sick, and the oil of chrism (for baptism, confirmation, the ordination of priests, and the consecration of altars).  Those of us who have been baptized, confirmed, ordained, or anointed when ill also have this Spirit upon us, assuming we have not cut off the life of grace by mortal sin (and if we have, this is quickly remedied by sacramental confession).  Having the Holy Spirit we too are called to our duties to all our neighbors (i.e., everyone).  Gifted with these graces, and always praying and working to be open to more of the infinite graces available to us, we must never be neglectful of all those who need to hear about Jesus from us and to see Jesus in us.

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