Monday, July 30, 2018
Christ unrolls the scroll which contains the words of Isaiah, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because God has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. God 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 blessing.” – Luke 4:18-19
If our Christian mission is to continue with the mission of Christ, then these words of our Lord, first written by Isaiah centuries before and brought once more to life in the voice of Christ, then this must be included in our mission statement. To bring good news to the poor … to set free the imprisoned … to help the blind to see … to liberate the oppressed … to announce that the time for God’s Mercy to abound. And yet … such a mission goes counter to those who claim to be Christian and those who claim that this is a Christian nation.
Christ’s echoing of the words of Isaiah go counter to our “worldly common sense”. They go counter to our sense of punitive justice and works righteousness. They go counter our culturally accepted norms for controlling the actions of people and nations.
By our actions, is it possible that we think the vision of Christ and Isaiah are but ethereal wishes and castles in the sky? I do not think we like to think that way … so our well-practiced skills of rationalization are to put to use. We take the words of Christ and simply rationalize them away.
I am one who believe that both Christ and Isaiah meant every word they said … and declared their faithfulness to the wishes of the God who inspired them. I believe that God actually expects us to bring hopeful good news to the poor, to find ways to save those sentenced and condemned, to restore clear vision to those near-blind by the clouds of culture and prejudice, to spread the news that the Lord’s Mercy and Grace are creating a new world where the ways of Heaven become the ways of the Earth. But oh how it seems so unreasonable to my worldly ways!
Always in Christ’s Service,
Fr. Charitas de la Cruz