Thursday after the Epiphany
Memorial Feast: St. Andre Bessette (1845-+1937)—Patron Saint of the Rejected
1 John 4:19-5:4, Psalm 72:1-2, 14 and 15bc, 17, & Luke 4:14-22
'Jesus Unrolls the Book in the Synagogue' by James Tissot, circa 1886-1893.
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me."
Once, one of my seminary professors said, "In Jesus, we see the grace of God in action." Today's Gospel passage is proof of that statement as we realize how His gracious words brought hope, joy, and favor to those who were ready to receive Him.
Where did Jesus begin His public ministry? It was in the land of Galilee where he grew up. His proclamation of the fulfillment of the Messianic prophecy of Isaiah brought wonder to His family and His neighbors. Isaiah had prophesied that the Messiah would come in the power of the Holy Spirit to bring freedom to those oppressed by sin and evil (Is. 61:1-2). Our Lord awakened their hope in the promises of God. They, in turn, received His words favorably and wondered what would become of "Joseph's son." Their hearts were hungry for the Word of Life, and they looked to Jesus with anticipation and wonder.
What did Jesus come to do for us? He came to set us free from the worst tyranny possible—slavery to sin and the fear of death and the eternal destruction of our soul. God's power alone can save us from emptiness and poverty of spirit. We recall that the Gospel of salvation is "Good News" for us. Today we remember we are to know the joy and freedom of the Holy Gospel, the 'Good News' of Jesus Christ.
Question of the Day: Do you look to Jesus with confidence and hope in the fulfillment of all of God's promises?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, you are the fulfillment of all our hopes and dreams. Through the gift of your Holy Spirit, you bring us grace, truth, life, and freedom. Fill us with the joy of the Gospel, ignite our hearts with love and zeal for you and your will. Amen.