Dear Parishioners and Visitors,
What did Jesus see as his main mission in life?
In this Sunday's Gospel (Luke 1:1-4, 4:14-21), Jesus himself gives us the answer to that question. He tells us his principal mission in life. It was ”to bring glad tidings to the poor ....to proclaim liberty to captives and recover( of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.” The word must become active and fulfilled — not just letters on paper, but energy in the heart, to proclaim and live out the love of God of neighbor. This will be his life.
For St Leo the Great, “The proof of love is in the world. Where love exists, if words great things. But when it ceases to act, it census to exist.” Jesus accepts the stranger, the outcast, heals the sick, gives hope to the despair, forgives sinners, and even accepts your faults. The love and care that God shows for humanity is a love without bounds. What Jesus did, he now asks and command us to do. We are
called to show God’s unceasing love for all people, which enables us to more fully see God’s presence in the world. We cannot truly say we love God, yet finds it difficult to do what he commands.
The truth is, I must take personally what God says here. He says: ‘You are the one I choose today to bring good news to the poor and oppressed. The Holy Spirit is sport you. I am sending you!’ Jesus saw these statements as giving him his identity.
Do they give me mine? If we want to know the true state of our love for God, we need to go by more than just feeling, we need to examine our response to the poor and hurting who cross our path and come to our attention. And we cannot
go only by our feelings to determine if we are truly loving God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. That takes an examination; it takes an honest assessment of how we are treating the poor and oppressed. Holy Spirit of God, you are the living force in the words of the Gospel we proclaim. You are the wind on which the message about Jesus is borne to others. Our agenda is to proclaim you. This is worth all the trouble that this life can bring. Amen.
—fr. Peter Damian, O.P.