Monday, January 18, 2010

Luke 4:14-21: The Gospel Lectionary Lesson for January 24, 2010

This is my own translation of the lectionary gospel lesson for Sunday. Please make any comments concerning the passage you want. Together, let's discuss the Word of God:

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14And Jesus went back in the power of the spirit into Galilee. And a report went out throughout the whole countryside concerning him. 15And he himself taught in their synagogues, and he was praised by all.

16And he went into Nazareth, where he’d been raised, and he went, according to his custom on the day of the Sabbath, into the synagogue, and he stood up to read. 17And it was given to him the book of the prophet Isaiah, and after he’d opened the book, he found the place where it had been written:

18The spirit of the lord is upon me,
because of this he anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor;
he sent me to preach to the captives release
and to the blind, the recovery of sight,
to send as released the crushed
19to preach the acceptable year of the lord.

20And after he’d closed the book and gave it back to the attendant, he sat down. And all the eyes in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21And he started to say to them, “Today this word has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes in my morning devotions I like to read portions from a book to stimulate my meditation. The book I have been doing this with recently is Joyce Rupp's THE OPEN DOOR: A Journey to the True Self (Sorin Press: Notre Dame, 2008). When I read the section for today "The Opener" based on John 10: 9, 3, I marveled that God had arranged such a happy coincidence for me. I had been thinking about the Gospel passage for this week. The conclusion I had reached was that, while the Gospel certainly reminds us of our need for active service to the poor, the blind, the captive and the oppressed, it has an even deeper meaning. Had Jesus merely dedicated himself to a social service ministry, he would not be remembered as he is today as the Savior of the world. He came to preach good news to the poor in spirit, to proclaim release to those held captive by Sin, to give sight to the spiritually blind, and to free us from the power of Sin and Death.


    So what was it in Joyce Rupp's new book that I found so coincidental? Here is a small portion of what this Catholic sister wrote in the section I was reading today.


    "The Book of Revelation attributes the characteristic of the door opener to Jesus and presents him as saying, 'Look, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut' (Rv.3:8). One has only to read through the Christian Scriptures to see how Jesus obviously exemplifies an opener. He clears the eyes of the blind: 'Then he touched their eyes...and their eyes were opened' (Mt 9:29-30). He opens the ears of the deaf: ' He said to him, "Ephphatha," that is, be opened.' And immediately [the deaf man's] ears were opened" (mk 7:34-35). He frees the hearts of seekers: 'The Lord opened Lydia's heart to listen eagerly to what was said by Paul' (Acts 16:14). He expands the minds of those who are confused: 'Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?' (Lk 24:32)."


    Sister Rupp goes on to write: "Opening the heart is as much a miracle as a physical healing. I look back on my own life and am amazed at how the Holy One assisted me to open the door to qualities I did not know I had, to attitudinal changes, to a clearance in my mind and heart that brought about healing and serenity."


    And: "With divine assistance, we disarm the door. We let go of the armor of the heart. When we do so, the miracle of our spiritual growth occurs. We begin to see how we are to live and act. We hear the summons...to enter the path of our authentic self. We allow this guidance to daily shape our vision by leading us from a narrow self-oriented blindness to spacious sight, from crippling attitudes to loving actions, from the shadows of ignorance to a wisdom that truly sets us free."


    Coincidence? I ask myself. Or the leading of the Spirit? What do you think?


    Mac

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