(I John 4:19-5:4; Luke 4:14-22)
Very soon Barack Obama will deliver his second inaugural address as president of the United States. No doubt, he will mention the challenges facing his administration: millions of undocumented immigrants, high unemployment, medical costs that continue to rise beyond inflation, a continuing war in Afghanistan, to name just a few. Similarly, Jesus addresses the challenges of his times in what may be called his inaugural sermon in the Gospel of Luke.
Interestingly, Luke has Jesus making his first presentation in his hometown of Nazareth. It is as if Jesus were a politician returning home to launch his professional career. He references the prophet Isaiah to announce the issues on which he intends to concentrate. He will lift the spirits of the poor, win amnesty for political prisoners, relieve the burden to the oppressed, etc. In short, he will fulfill God’s promise of justice made since the beginning of time. Of course, the people are edified by his speech. They know that what he says are not just words but testimony to deeds already accomplished.
Still at the beginning of a new year, we should make some resolutions about what we would like to see happen in our lives this year. If we are true followers, we will peg our hopes to the Lord Jesus. We will ask his grace to be more patient on the road and more attentive to our work. In doing so, we will notice how our needs fit well with his intentions to serve.