In today’s Gospel, St. Luke, very deliberately, tells us, that after his Baptism, Jesus went back to Nazareth, to begin his work.
As he stood up to read in the Synagogue, a passage from the prophet Isaiah was given to him – a passage about the coming of the Messiah–by which Jesus is announcing that he himself is the Messiah. “He has anointed me”, is a way of saying “I am a King” And Jesus goes on to explain what we can expect of him. His words are directed to the materially poor, those in prison, the physically blind, the oppressed and the exploited.
How do the words of Jesus reach us today? St. Paul tells us we are all members of one Body, each member interacting in a constant giving and receiving. Each receives the same respect, and the weakest receiving the greater attention. That is how the words of Jesus, in today’s Gospel, become living realities. The Law was essential for dignity, human rights and freedom—but there is a new ingredient in what Jesus gives–compassion–and that makes all the difference.