The Gospel Today
Thursday after Epiphany
Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit,
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.
Reflection (Sem. Herwyn Bulaun):
In today’s Gospel Jesus proclaimed that the prophecy of Isaiah about Jesus Christ has been fulfilled. Despite the eloquence of Jesus in proclaiming the Word, the people immediately measured Christ from where He came from. I will focus my reflection with the word “fulfillment” as mentioned by Jesus in the Gospel. I will try to differentiate fulfillment in the point of view of the modern world as against what Christ teaches through the Church.
A person who is fulfilled in the modern world is measured in terms of how successful he is. I will look on three things on how this success is measured. First a person is said to be fulfilled in terms of his career or profession. Career is measured based on the academic accomplishment of a person and how he further develops this academic learning in the practice of profession. The more the titles of a person the more he is fulfilled. Second is the authority, the more power and influence a person holds, the more he is fulfilled. Finally wealth or possession, a person is fulfilled if he owns millions or billions in terms of ownership.
Contrary to Jesus’ teachings fulfillment is not related to any possession in this world. I believe fulfillment is measured in two things, first, is relationship with God which refers to how one disposes himself to God in order to listen and follow His will. A relationship submissive to God who always offers himself for us. And, second relationship with others. Relating to others with love and compassion through service to the people especially those in need. This is made possible through our experience in the Christmas we just celebrated.
Jesus Himself experienced belittled by those people whom He live with, despite the numbers prophecy that proves His identity. I believe the challenge of this Gospel is to anchor our fulfillment in life not on career, authority or possessions but on Jesus Christ who fulfilled the promised salvation of God.