Daily Reflection – 01/09/2020
Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news of him spread throughout the whole region. He taught in their synagogues and was praised by all. He came to Nazareth, where he had grown up, and went according to his custom into the synagogue on the Sabbath day. He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord. Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down, and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him. He said to them, “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” And all spoke highly of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. (Luke 4:14-22)
“The spirit of the Lord is upon me.”
The spirit of the Lord is upon us – each and every one of us. Regardless of religious denomination, regardless of ethnicity, regardless of stature in life or lack thereof, regardless of skin color, or accent. How is that? It is contained in His command to love.
Love is first man’s calling. The Lord calls us to give ourselves to bring true happiness to others. As Saint John of the Cross says, “at the evening of our day we shall be judged by our loving””. At the evening of each day, it is appropriate that we pause to examine ourselves to determine how we expressed our love, focusing on those aspects that we need to improve to make our loving an even greater blessing to others.
He again tells us to love much and he reminds us that if we do not love the one we see then we cannot love the One who is always present though unseen. He tells us that we must love our brother but in this John is not simply referring to our blood relations but to all peoples because we are all brothers and sisters in Christ. There is a strong reminder of the connection between love and faith. In today’s gospel text from St Luke we see Jesus reading in the synagogue. He reads from the Prophet Isaiah and tells the people that he is the fulfilment of the passage. We too are called on to “bring the good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives
If we allow it, the Holy Spirit will transform us just as He changed the Apostles, so that we can act under His influence, even as He grants us His blessings, bringing them to all our hearts, as Saint Paul wrote: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” (Gal 5:22-23).
In spite of that mandate, in spite of the ultimate example of love manifest in the birth and death of Jesus Christ for each of us, it is difficult to see that prevalent in some of the countries of this world that claim to be “developed” or “first world.” Polemics, divisiveness, politics that appeal to the basest qualities of humankind, make us wonder where His command of love has gone.
In spite of that, the eternity of our lives demand that we embody and live that command of love. If we do not then the darkness will roll in. Let His light commander our lives, let His light flood our souls, let His light and His love be the markers of our lives.
Prayer of The Day
Lord Jesus, you are the fulfillment of all our hopes and dreams. Through the gift of your Holy Spirit you bring us truth, freedom, and abundant life. Fill me with the joy of the Gospel and inflame my heart with love and zeal for you and for your kingdom of peace and righteousness.
Our answer must always be “Lord, you know all things, you know that I love you despite my weaknesses; but let me prove it to you, help me discover my brothers’ needs, to truly give myself to the needy and neglected, to accept them as they are, to value them.”