Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Christ: The Good News to the World

Rev. Shinoi Joseph
Long Island MTC, NY

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, Because he anointed me to preach 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, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” v. 18-19

The Gospel according to St. Luke 4:16-22 is known as Nazareth Manifesto of Jesus. Jesus begins his public ministry with the proclamation of his mission strategy by reading the scripture from prophet Isaiah in the synagogue at Nazareth. His manifesto reveals “who is he? What is his mission? And what does he bring to the world? This manifesto explains the mission for which he is incarnated into this world.  Based on Lk. 4:18, his mission is fourfold
1.    To bring good news to the poor
2.    To proclaim release to the captives.
3.    To give recovering of sight to the blind.
4.    To proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor

As this Sunday is Mission Sunday, based on the above passage let us reflect on the following theme:

“Christ: The Good News to the world”

Jesus Christ himself is God’s good news to the world as he elevates the lowly, gives freedom to the captives, enlightens the believing community and redeems the world. In Isaiah 40-66, the good news is that God has arrived. So the advent of Jesus is the good news to the world. St. Luke 4 reveals that it is the Spirit of the God that empowers Jesus to carry out the mission. Jesus is the anointed one. Life and ministry of Jesus was in line with his manifesto at Nazareth. Jesus proclaimed release to the persons who were under the various form of bondage (oppressions) like physical, socio-religio, economic and spiritual. He healed the lame and the crippled, forgiven the sinners like Zacchaeus, the woman who was caught in adultery and thief who was crucified with him. His teaching, preaching and healing ministry restores a new vision to the world. Jesus who said “I am the light” asked his followers to be the “light of the world.” The poor, the oppressed and the people at the margins are always at God’s favor. According to the Jewish tradition 50th year is the year of Lord’s favor, where Israel should proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. (Lev. 25). With the advent of Jesus this new era of God’s reign has started.

Church is called out to continue the mission which had its beginning in Jesus’ earthly ministry. As Jesus was empowered by God’s Spirit, the same Spirit should empower the Church to carry out her mission. As Jesus brought good news to the poor, relief to the oppressed, recovery of sight to the blind and redemption to the world, the Church’s mission should be in line with that. Jesus reinstates and elevates the lost, the least and the margins to the main stream of the society. The mission of the Church is same as that of Jesus’ mission.  As Christ has enlighten us so are we called to enlighten the world by giving the good news “Jesus Christ” to them. Thus the mission of the Church is to bring good news in the life of the poor, to provide freedom to those who are in captives of sins or other oppression, and to be an instrument of transformation. So mission of the church is not different from Jesus’ mission but is the continuation of Jesus’ mission. 

Thought for the day: Imbibing and Imitating Jesus in every aspect of life

Prayer: O Lord, help me to understand that I am being enlightened by you to enlighten others.” Amen!

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