“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor.”

Today begins a sequence of weekday readings starting in Luke 4 (vv. 16-30).  The scene finds Jesus back in Nazareth, the town in which He grew up.  As it is the sabbath, He heads straight to the synagogue.  He is given the scroll from Isaiah and reads the passage (Is 61:1-2) that begins with the sentence above.  He tells them that the passage is fulfilled in their hearing.  They speak highly of Him but also question because He was the son of their neighbors.  He knows they want Him to perform signs for them as they’ve heard He has done elsewhere.  But He tells them a prophet is not accepted in His native place, giving two Old Testament examples.  Infuriated they drive Jesus up a hill to kill Him but they don’t go through with it as Jesus simply walks through them to leave.  Isaiah 61:1 is not meant for Jesus alone.  It is for each one of us who is baptized and confirmed.  We are to bring the good news to the poor, whether their poverty is due to possessions, sin, or not knowing the Lord.  It is our calling and a requirement of Jesus (cf. Mt 28:19-20).  Learn the Word, live the Word, spread the Word.  Some will greet your message warmly and treat you graciously.  Others will want to toss you off a hill (hopefully figuratively).  Like Jesus and so many great saints who imitated Him to a heroic degree we must never shy from telling the truth or spreading the truth, always in love, but always without compromise.  If Jesus did it, we are called to do it as well.  We must trust in the Lord, the Truth, who will set us on a path to true freedom.

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