Many Israelites of Jesus’ time expected God to send a Messiah who would liberate Israel from the political domination of the Romans. In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus went into the synagogue and read the text of the prophet Isaiah (61:1-2), and told the people there and then that the Messiah, as prophesied by the prophet Isaiah, was being fulfilled in his own person and preaching.
He came to liberate them from slavery (to idols, and false gods). He announced liberation from sin, not from political subjugation. In His time, it was indeed good news to the poor, the down trodden, the faint hearted and those rejected by society. It should continue to be Good News for our time. We too are in need of liberation from our modern day idolatries and sinfulness. At the moment, in NZ, there are many issues, against which we need to make a stand. As Pope Paul VI, said: “[Jesus]’ way is not, as you know, a movement of the political or temporal order; it calls rather for the conversion of hearts, for liberation from all temporal encumbrances. It is a call to love”.
Blessings, Fr Michael