Monday, XXII Week of Ordinary Time, Year A

The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me

Readings: 1st: 1 Cor 2:1-5; Ps: 118; Gos: Lk 4:16-30

This brief reflection was written by Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans). He is a missionary in Puerto Rico, the island of enchantment. He is the Chancellor of the Dioceses of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico; the Parish Priest of Parroquia la Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Major Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), Circumscription of Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic. For more details and comments contact him at:  canice_c_njoku@yahoo.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com.

Today is the Monday of the twenty second week of ordinary time. Today marks the beginning of our reflection from the gospel according to Luke. We shall read from it till the end of this liturgical year, A.

Today Christ goes to Nazareth, and his the first place he visited was the Synagogue where he presented the purpose of his mission or his mission statement.

This is the fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah: “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…(Is 61:1-3). 

This prophecy was made when the Israelites lived in slavery and misery in exile. So, by using these same words as the basis of his ministry and mission, Christ announced his reign of peace, justice, freedom and love to all those suffering from all kinds of oppressions and injustice.

Here, Christ proclaims the good news of the new era to all of us. It is important to note that this good news is not directed only to the materially poor, but to all: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God” (Mt 5:3).

The good news liberates us from two types of slavery. The first is self-imposed slavery. This results from personal sins and mistakes in life. This makes us, spiritually blind and weak. It cripples our spiritual life, and hardens our hearts against God and all that is good.

This is the worst form of slavery, because it affects us both spiritually and physically. Only Christ can liberate us from this slavery. However, we can achieve this liberation by accepting the good news, and by seeking reconciliation with Christ and ourselves.

The other type of slavery is that which is imposed on us by others, or by our society. These include structural, economic, and social injustices that do not allow us to live a fulfilled life in this world, even when we make all the necessary efforts.

Both of these are great sources of pains and burden to us. However, it is important to note that Christ strengthens us to overcome all these.

So, let us pray that as we receive these mission priorities today, we may be docile to Christ and his Spirit, and that we may benefit, as well as help others benefit from his mission.

Peace be with you.

Maranatha!

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