By Sem. Philip Volante
What is your job description? All of us have our own roles or jobs to play in the society. Some are teachers while others are students. Some are leaders and others are followers. Some are called to be teachers or doctors, while some, like us, are called to be seminarians who would be priests by the grace of God. In our Gospel for today, Jesus announced his job description to everyone, “to bring glad tidings to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery to the blind, to free the oppressed and to proclaim the year acceptable to the Lord.” This is Jesus’ job description. But for those who follow in His footsteps, this job description is not bound to Jesus alone, but a call and a mission for all of us.
As a seminarian, it is heartbreaking to hear people saying, “seminarista pa man din siya pero parang hindi seminarista kung kumilos.” (He is a seminarian and yet he acts as if he is not one) As early as now, we are being formed in the seminary to protect and uphold Jesus’ job description for we are, first and foremost, the implementers of this role in the Church. That is why we are being taught of simplicity, poverty and obedience. We follow the Church teachings and its stand against certain issues because in a way, we are already being asked by people of what to do especially in making life decisions and matters of the Church and of spirituality. Personally, I do not have all the answers thrown at me, but like Jesus, it is through the power of the Holy Spirit that I am able to give insights on certain things. I am sometimes surprised by what is coming out of my mouth! I sometimes tell myself that I cannot think of those things by myself and it is only through the Holy Spirit that I was able to deliver them clearly. That is why every time I speak in front of an audience, or talk to someone who needs my help, I always ask the Holy Spirit to use me as an instrument; to be my mouth, my hands and my heart so that I can proclaim the Word of God to others. The one thing that I fear most is to turn people away from God because of what I say and do.
At this time and age, all of us are called to live out Jesus’ job description or mission not only to our families, but to the whole world. That is why Jesus’ job or mission is also our mission. It may seem difficult, but fear not! For the Holy Spirit is there to empower us and to help us bring glad tidings to the poor, the captives, the blind and the oppressed.
THE GOSPEL TODAY
and news of him spread throughout the whole region.
He taught in their synagogues and was praised by all.
He came to Nazareth, where he had grown up,
and went according to his custom
into the synagogue on the sabbath day.
He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah.
He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring glad tidings to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.
Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down,
and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him.
He said to them,
“Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”
And all spoke highly of him
and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth.