Fr. Kurian Kollapallil After the Baptism, filled with the Holy Spirit Jesus began his ministry from his hometown of Nazareth. Even though Jesus pointed out the hypocrisy and meaningless practices of the Pharisees, Jesus obeyed the Scripture and God’s commandments. On the Sabbath day as it was commanded by God, he goes to the synagogue to observe the Sabbath holy. Jesus, after reading the text from Prophet Isaiah said: “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” Jesus gives spiritual meaning to the text by announcing the advent of the kingdom of God. The spirit of the Lord was upon Him. Filled with the Holy Spirit, he could impart His spirit to us, His spirit of Love and truth. The first task of the messiah was to preach the good news to the poor. Spiritual poverty is worse than, the material poverty. Living without God and in sinfulness is the utter poverty. Jesus came to make us rich. “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10). Jesus came to proclaim release to the captives. The sinful thoughts captivate our mind and imprison us under the law of sin (Romans 7:23-24). We can be prisoners of materialism and consumerism, chained to pleasure, power, money and control of everyone and everything in our world. Accordingly, we need to be freed and raised to a richer level of life. Very few people indeed are truly free and many actually fear true freedom and the responsibility that goes with it. Only Jesus can deliver us and make us free.

Jesus speaks of blindness and healing. Physical blindness is far less disabling than the blindness that comes from prejudice, ignorance, jealousy, discrimination, bias and other
emotional blocks. We are often blinded by our evil habits; addictions and need for financial
security. To see the light of truth we need to be healed of our spiritual blindness. Jesus came to bring recovery of sight to the blind. It indicated that those who were spiritually blind would be enlightened and will be able to see the way, the truth and the life. Jesus came to liberate us from oppression. Unjust laws and public opinions oppress us. The media and growing secularism puts faith to be tested and goes even to the point of denying the basic rights. We need to be liberated from the false teachings and philosophies, from the evil one and destructive culture.

Jesus proclaimed the year of the Lord’s favor. By this Jesus meant that the long awaited messianic jubilee had finally arrived. The promised messianic salvation had ultimately come. Jesus affirmed that He was the long awaited Messiah and they ought to rejoice in it.   In His proclamation, Jesus said that He had been anointed to bring good news to the poor, He had been sent to release the captives, to recover the sight of the blind and to let the oppressed go free. We hear echoes of the Jubilee proclamation in Pope Francis’ declaring a “Year of Mercy.” He is challenging the whole Church to practice mercy. As individuals and institutions, in our manner of living, we must be agents of mercy.  Now, ours is Jesus’ work of mercy, proclaiming by word and action “glad tidings to the poor.”

“A will resigned to God’s will should have no other desire but to simply live out that Divine Will.” St. Francis de Sales