Monday 22nd Ord I

A Pilgrim's Daily Prayer

Called through the Word to the everlasting journey in the Spirit

from nothingness to union with the One who is the Beginning and the End

James Tissot: Jesus Teaching in the Synagogue
The Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ, 1900.


Monday of the Twenty-second week in Ordinary Time:  The Mission of Jesus is the Mission of All

Readings for Mass
First Reading: First Thessalonians 4:13-18
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 96:1, 3, 4-5, 11-12, 13
Gospel: Luke 4:16-30

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor                
(NRSV, Luke 4:18a).

Let us pray.


So often, Father, we misunderstand the nature of the prophet. We erroneously think that the prophet has some secret knowledge of future events exactly as they will unfold. But we should realize, Father, that the future for us is free and undetermined. The prophet, rather, is actually a person who is much more sensitive than the rest of us to what is taking place in the present. When the prophet speaks of the future, it is always the implications for the future, contained in the conditions of the present, of which sometimes he alone is aware.

“The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners.”

These are the words of an anonymous Hebrew prophet, words collected with those of others among your prophets, Lord, in the latter portions of the Book of Isaiah. These particular words look forward to the days following the Babylonian captivity, when Zion will be restored. They are a dream for the future, a dream that somehow must be fulfilled because you, Lord, do not abandon your people.

Shortly after your Son Jesus began his public ministry as recorded in Luke, he entered his own synagogue in Nazareth and, taking his turn, unrolled the scripture and read these very words so familiar to everyone in the congregation . . . except at the end, Jesus added, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

At first, Lord, we read that the people were amazed but their amazement soon turned to outrage.

Father, in the resurrection of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, we realize that the words of Isaiah, Chapter 61, the dream of an unknown Hebrew prophet, were in fact fulfilled in Jesus but that they also apply as challenge to every human being who has ever lived. We have all of us said “yes” to you at the first moment of our existence and your Holy Spirit has in fact anointed every one of us from the womb. Lord, you have sent us all to bring good news to the oppressed.

How we are caught up in our own personal lives and concerns, Father, when to be human is to share one life, your divine life, as your daughters and sons, sisters and brothers all. The plight of one is truly the plight of all. Strengthen us, Lord, to lift up our eyes to see the needs of others, particularly those most weary with pain and suffering, and then, enpowered by your life, to hasten to help them.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.



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