Monday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time
(I Corinthians 2:1-5; Luke 4:16-30)
Today we begin treating the Gospel according to Luke in our daily readings. We shall see a passage from this gospel most weekdays until Advent. Luke is famous for, among other themes, care for the poor and his emphasis on the Holy Spirit. Although he recognizes Jesus as Son of God, Luke often portrays Jesus in the role of a prophet. This is seen in today’s passage.
Jesus has returned to his hometown. Like a candidate for president, he wants to state the platform from which he will conduct his ministry. He chooses a reading from the prophet Isaiah to give his message weight. Jesus will preach good news to the poor and sight to the spiritually blind.
The people like what they hear. But they seem to change their mind about him quickly. Or, perhaps better, Jesus perceives their opposition to him. The reason for this abrupt change is likely that Luke is recording the result of a separate visit to Nazareth. We must understand that the gospels are not biographies relating the events of Jesus’ life in the order they were lived. Rather they are faith testimonies meant to encourage belief in Jesus' victory over sin and death. The more we study the stories, the more we appreciate what our faith in Jesus brings us.