Thursday, January 8, 2015

Thursday after the Epiphany

(I John 4:19-5:4; Luke 4:14-22)

Within two weeks President Obama will deliver the annual State of the Union Address before Congress.  He will mention the challenges facing the country: millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States, wars festering in Iraq and Afghanistan, racial tensions mounting, to name just a few.  Similarly, Jesus addresses the challenges of his times in what may be called his inaugural address 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 a campaign.  He references the prophet Isaiah to announce the issues on which he will concentrate.  He will lift the spirits of the poor, win amnesty for prisoners, relieve the burden to the oppressed, etc.  In short, he will fulfill God’s promise of justice made after Judah experienced the humiliation of military defeat and exile.  Of course, Jesus’ townspeople 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 at home.  We will also plead him to make us less insistent on having things our own way.  Like him we will see our role as thanking God and serving Him by helping others.