Friday, January 22, 2016
In the same direction
Buenas Noticias: Blog de Jose Antonio Pagola
January 24, 2016
Luke 1:1-4; 4:14-21
Before beginning to narrate Jesus' activities, Luke wants to make it very clear to his readers what the passion is that drives the Prophet of Galilee, and what the goal of all his actions is. Christians have to know in which direction the Spirit of God is pushing Jesus, because to follow him is precisely to walk in the same direction.
Luke describes in detail what Jesus does in the synagogue of his town: he stands up, receives the sacred book, finds a passage from Isaiah himself, reads the text, closes the book, gives it back and sits down. Everyone must listen carefully to the words chosen by Jesus as they lay out the task to which he feels sent by God.
Surprisingly, the text doesn't talk about organizing a more perfect religion or implementing more dignified worship, but communicating liberation, hope, light, and grace to the poorest and least fortunate. This is what he reads: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind,to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord." At the end, he tells them, "Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing."
The Spirit of God is in Jesus sending him to the poor, directing his whole life towards the needy, the oppressed and humiliated. We his followers are to work towards that. This is the direction that God, incarnate in Jesus, wants to imprint on human history. The last must be the first to know the more dignified, liberated and happy life that God wants for all His sons and daughters henceforth.
We must not forget it. The "option for the poor" isn't an invention of some twentieth century theologians, or a fad put into service after Vatican II. It's the option of the Spirit of God that animates Jesus' whole life and that we his followers are to introduce into human history. Paul VI said it: The Church has "the duty of assisting the birth of this liberation...[and] ensuring that it is complete."
It isn't possible to live and proclaim Jesus Christ if not from the defense of the last and least and solidarity with the excluded. If what we are doing and proclaiming from the Church of Jesus isn't grasped as something good and liberating for those who suffer, what gospel are we preaching? What Jesus are we following? What spirituality are we promoting? To put it clearly: What impression do we make in the Church today? Are we walking in the same direction as Jesus?