Donald R. Elly, M. Div.
Jesus, for Luke, is the power of the Holy Spirit invading human life, making ordinary people the revelation of God. It begins unexpectedly with Mary, a young unwed teenager, and continues with Elizabeth, a woman considered too old to bear children. Yet that child, through the Spirit prepares the way for Jesus.
It is important to note a couple of details that make clear that “this is the day Lord has made” so that scripture comes alive. We live in a culture that destroys the power of words drowning us in information. We forget that we, ordinary sinful humans, are called to partner with God in “bringing good news to the poor…to proclaim the release of the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” We are to be partners with God in working to make this good news real, not just talk about it.
Secondly, for Luke, salvation is an action of the Holy Spirit right now. All too often we have settled for hearing these words as an announcement that will someday come true. But for Luke the future is now. God’s Spirit acting makes us people called to make salvation active in actions that make clear that we have heard God and Jesus can depend upon us make every day a Jubilee.
I would close with a prayer of Saint Teresa of Avila quoted by Maria Shriver in her book, I’ve Been Thinking. The poem makes clear that every day is a day for being filled with the Spirit and letting God use us. St Teresa of Avila prayed:
“May today there be peace within. May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content knowing that you are a child of God Let this presence settle into your bones and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise, and love. It is there for each and every one of us. Amen.
January 27, 2019; Cycle C 3rd Sunday of Epiphany
Isaiah 58:6-8, 61:1-4; Psalm 19; 1st Cor. 12:12-31; *Luke 4:14-21