The passage points out to the fact that Jesus, as a young man, was going regularly on Sabbath days to the Synagogue in Nazareth, where he had been brought up. He used to play an important role in the Synagogue as a young man, viz., to read the Scriptures. When he read the Scripture passage from Isaiah 61, he realized his mission in the world. He knew that this was written about him. The passage is also known as the mission manifesto of Jesus. He shapes his mission in full accord with this passage. He is anointed by the Spirit of God to bring the good news to the poor. Thereafter, he would lead every marginalized Jew to the Kingdom of God through his words and deeds. He welcomed everyone to the Kingdom. He realizes that his mission is to proclaim freedom to the captives, to give sight to the blind, to free the oppressed and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. He liberates them from the clutches of the devil and opens their spiritual eyes to see God’s will for them and invites them to become children of God.
The reading of the Scripture was the moment of fulfilment of all the prophecies regarding the Messiah. When we read the Word of God, it will be the moment God speaking to us and helping us to realize what is His plan for each one of us. Our mission or our life’s purpose will be revealed to us through constant reading of the Word of God. It is Jesus himself speaking to us. He is the Word of God. This Word of God is living and active, powerful enough to pierce deeper into our inner selves and is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart (cf. Hb 4:12). It is spirit and life (Jn 6:63). If we understand the power of God’s word, a regular reading of the Word of God can transform our lives. The Lord will inspire the devoted reader to think in accordance with the will of God for him/her. One who ignores the power of God’s Word will prepare his/her own plans and present them before God for an immediate answer. S/He might end up her/his life in despair. In today’s world, we find many such people who have no aim in life. They choose to go after the ways of the world. The worldly ways won’t lead to permanent happiness.
Jesus read out his mission manifesto and lived his life in such a way as to fulfil every Word written in the Scripture. He told his audience, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing”. The expectations of a chosen people was being accomplished. When we read God’s word, we must ask ourselves the question: ‘How am I to respond to this Word of God and able to fulfil it in my life?’ or ‘What is God expecting of me from this Word of God?’What should I do to commit myself to the Kingdom, to doing God’s will? Get an answer for yourself and work on the answer to make a difference in the society. Jesus had a clear-cut mission before him to accomplish. He spent his life for that and was willing to suffer and die to that end. He was attuned to the voice of the Father daily through his prayer communion and did always what was pleasing to his Father. After reading the Scripture passage he sat down and looking into the eyes of his audience he gave them what they really were waiting to hear for years. Yes, that was the year of the Lord’s favor he proclaimed to the marginalized section of the society. Our proclamation also should be redemptive, life-giving and healing.
What is our contribution towards the local Church? Am I regular to the Church? Am I truly devoting enough time to read the Word of God and to meditate on it? Am I thinking of alleviating the sufferings of the poor and the marginalized section of the society? Am I seeking God’s will in life and trying to know my mission or the purpose of my life on earth?