I proclaimed to you Christ crucified.
A reading from the first Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 2:1-5)
When I came to you, brethren, I did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God in lofty words or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in much fear and trembling; and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 119:220.127.116.11.101. 102 (R. 97a)
R/. O Lord, how I love your law!
O Lord, how I love your law:
my meditation all the day! R.
Your command makes me wiser than my foes,
for it is with me always. R.
I have more insight than all who teach me,
for I ponder your decrees. R.
I have gained more understanding than my elders,
for I keep your precepts. R.
I keep my feet from every evil path,
to obey your word. R.
I have not turned away from your decrees;
you yourself have taught me. R.
ALLELUIA Luke 4:18
Alleluia. The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; he has sent me to preach good news to the poor. Alleluia.
“He has sent me to preach good news to the poor. No prophet is acceptable in his own country. ”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (Luke 4:16—30)
At that time: Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up; and he went to the synagogue, as was his custom, on the sabbath day. And he stood up to read; and there was given to him the Book of the Prophet Isaiah. He opened the book and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” And he closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant, and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” And all spoke well of him, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth; and they said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” And he said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘Physician, heal yourself; what we have heard you did at Capernaum, do here also in your own country.”’ And he said, “Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his own country. But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when there came a great famine over all the land; and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon to a woman who was a widow. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha; and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath. And they rose up and put him out of the city, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw him down headlong. But passing through the midst of them he went away.
The Gospel of the Lord.
In today’s gospel Jesus presents his mission statement or the manifesto as he inaugurates his public ministry. He chose a synagogue in his own hometown and a scroll from the book of Isaiah to spell out his missionary plans: “The spirit of the Lord is upon me to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives, to proclaim the Lord’s year of favor…” he added that today this scripture has been fulfilled in their hearing. In other words, their wait for the saviour has ended by his appearance on the world scene. In Jesus we have our liberation, our freedom, our joy and hope. He alone can bring us that freedom from those enslavements and bondages caused by our sins, bad habits and evil powers. It is by surrendering our lives to him that we find our true peace, joy and freedom of the children of God. People at first admired him for his gracious words, but when they realized that he was challenging and shaking the very roots of their habits, beliefs and traditions, they plotted to do away with him as he was inconvenient to the comfortable life. Today, the choice is ours. Either accept Jesus as our Saviour and liberator and surrender our lives to him to experience freedom and joy, and share that experience of joy with others, or reject him and live in perennial bondage under the power of evil forces.