Lk 1:1-4, 4:14-21

Since many have undertaken to set down an orderly account of the events that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed on to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, I too decided, after investigating everything carefully from the very first, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the truth concerning the things about which you have been instructed.

Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone. When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him.

He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Remaining True to His Identity

Throughout the Gospels runs the question about who Jesus is. Some people believed that he was the Messiah. Some religious leaders accused him of blasphemy. John the Baptist had his disciples ask Jesus if he was “the one to come.” And Jesus himself asked the Twelve who they thought he was.

But in today’s Gospel, Jesus declares he is the Anointed One spoken of by Isaiah who would come to preach good news to the poor, proclaim release to captives, bring sight to the blind, liberty to the oppressed, and announce the year of the Lord.

His listeners, however, deciding it couldn’t be true, rejected Jesus and his claim. Still, Jesus knew who he was and would not take back what he had said.

This Gospel incident can prompt us to ask ourselves who we believe Jesus is and who we think we are, no matter what others may say.

—Fr. Frank Majka, SJ, is a priest of the Midwest Province who lives at the Jesuit community at St. Camillus in Wauwatosa, WI.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, your life and ministry was always rooted in your identity as God’s beloved Son. Give us the confidence to know that we, too, are beloved children of God. Strengthen our faith in you, so that we, like the disciples, may confidently affirm that you are our Messiah. Amen.

Jesuit Prayer team