Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Prophet

by José Antonio Pagola (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Buenas Noticias: Blog de Jose Antonio Pagola
January 27, 2013

Luke 1:1-4; 4:14-21

In a remote village in Galilee called Nazareth, the villagers gather in the synagogue one Saturday morning to listen to the Word of God. After some years spent seeking God in the wilderness, Jesus returns to the town where he grew up. The scene is very important for knowing Jesus and understanding his mission. According to Luke's account, in this village almost unknown to anyone, Jesus will introduce himself as a Prophet of God and set out his program by applying a text of the prophet Isaiah to himself.

After reading the text, Jesus comments on it with one sentence: "Today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing." According to Luke, the people's eyes "were fixed on him." Everyone's attention moved from the text that had been read to the person of Jesus. What can we discover today if we fix our eyes on him?

Moved by the Spirit of God. Jesus' whole life is driven, led, and guided by the breath, the strength and the love of God. Believing in the divinity of Jesus is not confessing a dogmatic formula developed by the councils theoretically. It's discovering in a concrete way through his words and gestures, his tenderness and his fire, the ultimate Mystery of life that we believers call "God."

Prophet of God. Jesus hasn't been anointed with olive oil as the kings were anointed to transmit the power of government to them, or the high priests, to invest them with sacred power. He has been "anointed" by the Spirit of God. He hasn't come to govern or rule. He's a prophet dedicated to freeing life. We will be able to follow him only if we learn to live with his prophetic spirit.

Good News for the poor. His actions are Good News for the most marginalized and destitute social class -- those most in need of hearing something good, those humiliated and neglected by all. We start to be like Jesus when our lives, our actions, and our love and solidarity can be perceived by the poor as something good.

Devoted to liberation. He was committed to freeing human being from all types of slavery. The people feel him to be the liberator from suffering, oppression and abuse; the blind see him as a light that frees them from meaninglessness and despair; sinners receive him as grace and forgiveness. We follow Jesus when he's freeing us from all that enslaves, belittles, and dehumanizes us. Then we believe in him as the Savior who puts us on the road to the ultimate Life.

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