Last Sunday, the 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, presented us with the Gospel of the wedding feast at Cana, particularly the miracle of the water made wine. This first miracle by our Lord, as reported by John, points to the dawning of a new age, a new time: the time of the Messiah. These days of the Messiah are a time of grace and mercy, when God has opened up his own divine life to us in and through Jesus Christ. The good news for us is that these days are still upon us as the world continues to live in them until the Lord Jesus returns in his glory.
These days were heralded in many ways and times. This Sunday’s Gospel continues the theme of Epiphany which has been presented to us for four Sundays now through the star and the Magi, the voice of the Father at Jesus’s baptism, the water made wine, and now this Sunday with Jesus’s proclamation in his home synagogue in Nazareth of the words of the Prophet Isaiah. Jesus proclaims, 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. At the end of the proclamation, Jesus announces that today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing. He is the one of whom Isaiah spoke. He is the fulfillment of the promise of the prophets and the manifestation of God’s grace in the world.
To bring sight to the blind, liberty to captives, glad tidings to the poor, and freedom to the oppressed, is monumental task, one that is fit for the Messiah…and for us. We cannot do any of these things as Jesus did and continues to do, but, as disciples, we are called to carry Christ into the world each and every day. It is the Lord Jesus who brings true freedom and sight, who lifts up the soul and fills it with richness. We are the vessels, the messengers by which he chooses to be continually made known in the world. We are called each day to be deliberate in our discipleship, to make the conscious choice for Christ every day so that we may be a means, an avenue through which Jesus can be known and touched by those whom we meet.
We are not tasked with this responsibility without any assistance. Luke tells us that in making this proclamation in Nazareth, that Jesus had returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit. The same is true for us. Through Baptism and Confirmation we are imbued with power of the Spirit to proclaim Jesus Christ in every aspect of our lives. Let us avail ourselves to the power of the Spirit that, in and through us, the Lord Jesus may continually be made known in the world, a world that needs to know and accept his love, his grace, and his mercy. Now is the acceptable time for us to answer this call.
Father Christopher House is the Rector of the Cathedral and serves in various leadership roles within the diocesan curia, namely Chancellor and Vicar Judicial.