Faith Daily | 7 January 2021
PRAYER of the WEEK Epiphany
by the leading of a star
you manifested your only-begotten Son to the Gentiles:
mercifully grant, that we, who know you now by faith,
may after this life be led to the vision
of your glorious Godhead;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: Luke 4: 14-22
14Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. 15He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone. 16When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: 18“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, 19to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” 20And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by Kathy Allen
This passage marks a beginning in the next step of the active ministry of Jesus– a moment that embraces the ordinary life of the community of Nazareth. In the synagogue of his childhood, Jesus the man chooses verses that clearly state the intention of His ministry. He does not argue His case. He reads the verses and sits down. We rarely see Jesus sitting down in silence.
The words of Isaiah offer a pristine explanation, clear, elegant, and simple of what has become His Gospel message. They outline His mission to preach the gospel, heal the broken-hearted and to follow the ways acceptable to God. He does not expand or explain or speak in parables. We can see all eyes fastened on Him. Our eyes are fastened on Him. Then with great simplicity He states that “This day you have seen the scripture fulfilled.” Could anything be more wonderful or marvellous?
These gracious words offer truth for believers; but a perfect moment does not last. The moment ends with the transfixed congregants coming back to their daily reality. One says, “Isn’t this Joseph’s son talking to us?” Jesus has opened their hearts and minds, but humanity creeps in and closes them a bit; however, for at least one glorious moment, the people who heard him speak were transfixed by His power and by His message. For a moment, the truth was clear.
Can we get back that moment? Today in this age of aggressive social media, cancel culture and general wokeness, it can be difficult to speak up and live by Jesus’ message. We must remember that it is our faith that makes us strong. It is our faith that gives us courage. Let us keep searching for that moment of clarity.
FINAL PRAYER: Iona Abbey Worship Book, Wild Goose Publications
O God of life and of each life,
we lay our lives before you.
We give our lives to you,
from whom nothing is hidden.
You are before us, you are behind;
you are around us, you are within.
You know the secret thoughts of every heart.
We bring the faith that is in us and the doubt;
we bring the joy that is in us and the sorrow.
O God of life, you are in the light and in the darkness.
We bring the knowledge that is in us and the ignorance;
we bring the hope that is in us and the despair.
O God of life, renew us with your Life.
Today and always.