Thursday after Epiphany
(I John 4:19-5:4; Luke 4:14-22)
According to baseball lore Babe Ruth stepped up to bat during the World Series in Chicago and pointed to the centerfield fence. He was evidently indicating that he would hit the ball beyond it and that is what many people have said that he did. In fact, so many people have testified that saw Ruth that day “call his shot” that one radio host commented that there must have been 500,000 thousand people attending the game! In the gospel today Jesus in a sense calls his shot although, of course, before a much smaller number of viewers.
The passage does not say that Jesus chooses the scroll he is to read. Rather it presumes that it is given him randomly. Yet it seems to be the one he wants as he reads the famous passage from the prophet Isaiah that speaks of one being anointed to bring relief to the oppressed. Then Jesus boldly suggests that the passage is fulfilled in his person. And the rest of Luke’s gospel testifies to that fact.
Christmas reminds us that Jesus has come to save us from distress. He brings glad tidings that we don’t need as much as we think we do nor do we have to produce as much as others. But he insists that we trust him by showing compassion on those less fortunate than we.