7th January 2021

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THURSDAY AFTER EPIPHANY, CHRISTMASTIDE 1 Jn 4:19-5:4 Ps 72: 1-2,14-15,17 Lk 4: 14-22


Today, we hear about Jesus’ return to his hometown Nazareth, where he had been brought up. He went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, as he usually did. The synagogue was a gathering place of the Jewish community. The sabbath was celebrated in each home with special rites and prayers. But the men were invited to celebrate it in the synagogues with the public reading of the Law and the Prophets, and the singing of the psalms. Every adult Jew had the right to stand up and speak. But it was the custom to entrust the scripture scroll to those who had a certain competence (Acts 13:15). On this day, the Scripture was handed to Jesus, who stood up to read.

The incident narrates Jesus’ manifestation of his true identity as the Messiah in his own village and among his own people. Using the prophecy of Isaiah, he reveals himself as being the one anointed by the Spirit of the Lord to bring “good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives and to the blind new sight, to set the downtrodden free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” This was a moment of glory for him. His reputation spread throughout the countryside and everyone praised him, being astonished at the gracious words that came from his lips.

What do we learn from this passage of Scripture? Firstly, the lesson of humble gratitude to God in the face of praise and glory, for the good work he has given us the grace to accomplish. May the Lord help us to live these experiences in a spirit of peace like him being aware of its fragility. Secondly, we read even today, the same text that our Lord himself read. Reading the Bible is a concrete means to unite ourselves with the mind and heart of Jesus. May the Lord instil in us a great love for sacred scripture that we may come to love him more and more each day.

Responsorial Psalm: All nations on earth shall fall prostrate before you, O Lord.

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