“Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
Gospel: Luke 1:1-4, 4:14-21.
1 Since many have undertaken to set down an orderly account of the events that have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as they were handed on to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, 3 I too decided, after investigating everything carefully from the very first, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 so that you may know the truth concerning the things about which you have been instructed.
14 Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. 15 He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone. 16 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, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: 18 “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, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour,” 20 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. 21 Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
The first part of today’s Gospel introduces Luke’s Gospel and Acts. Luke recalled for his readers that stories had been handed down by eye-witnesses and written down by others. The Gospel then moves us to another beginning and that is the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. He had travelled throughout Galilee teaching in the synagogue. This day, he was in his home town of Nazareth where he unrolled a scroll and proclaimed the words of Isaiah. The Spirit of the Lord will come upon one who will free captives, favour the poor, and give sight to the blind. After Jesus rolled up the scroll, he told his listeners that those words had been fulfilled in Him.
Relating the Gospel to our lives today.
When Jesus spoke the words, He stopped short of repeating all the words of the great prophet Isaiah. He omitted the words, “And the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to provide for those who mourn in Zion to give them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning.” – Isaiah 61:2-3. Why did Jesus only quote part of the Scriptures?
To understand this, it must be noticed that two different events are found in Isaiah’s prophecy. The first event refers to proclaiming “the year of the Lord’s favour.” – Luke. 4:19; Isaiah 61:2. The second event refers to proclaiming “the day of vengeance of our God.” – Isaiah 61:2. When Jesus rolled up the scroll mid verse and gave it back to the attendant, He was witnessing to the fact that the messianic age had come, that the moment of salvation had already arrived through His Person. Consequently, a new era was dawning upon mankind. This new era consisted of the present age of grace. This age is compared to a year, meaning it will persist for an indefinite period of time.
The duration of the second event shall be much shorter. It is compared to a day, instead of a year. It is referring of course to what is commonly known as ‘Judgement day’. Jesus omitted this part of the Scriptures because in His days, this was a future event yet to happen. Instead, He was purposefully drawing attention to Himself as the Messiah.
- Jesus is the ‘Good News’.
- God’s great mercy is revealed in Jesus.
- We are currently living in an age of grace.
“Eternal God, in Whom mercy is endless, and the treasury of compassion inexhaustible, look kindly upon us, and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments, we might not despair, nor become despondent, but with great confidence, submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy Itself. Amen.” – Divine Mercy Prayer