Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone. When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom.
He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down.
The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
The Servant of Yahweh in the Book of Isaiah and Jesus, himself, in the synagogue, both proclaim “a year acceptable to the Lord.” It’s a timely verse that easily stirs us to a holy desire for our own spiritual progress and, likewise, a desire for the betterment of our troubled world, especially as a new calendar year begins.
What could “a year acceptable to the Lord” look like? Surely, it could be an Ignatian year where “the principle and foundation” of our hearts would be the “praise, reverence, and service” of God. It could be a year welcoming the mercy of God without delay, in order to know and to “labor” afresh with Christ “throughout the whole world.” It could be a year bearing up under the turmoil and suffering of our world without us losing hope. It could be a year where we would perceive the presence of God “in all things,” especially in all people and nations.
Let us resolve that this very day be a part of our 2015 “year acceptable to the Lord.”
—Fr. Richard Baumann, SJ serves as Tertian Director for the East Africa Jesuit province. He is a native of Cincinnati OH and a past provincial of the Chicago Province.
Lord, we surrender our life to you. Let us desire and choose only that which better leads to deepening our life in you.Please share the Good Word with your friends!