Pastor’s Desk 23rd January 2022

Here we have Jesus’s first sermon.  He reads a passage from the Old Testament that refers to the Messiah, to the descendant of David whom God promised to raise up to establish a kingdom of justice and peace that would never end.  When He finishes reading it, He sits down (the recognised posture for official teaching in Jewish culture at the time) and pauses, meeting the expectant gazes of everyone gathered in the synagogue. Probably He had read the scripture passage with a force of expression that they had never heard before and so their attention was riveted on what He was going to say. He looks at them and speaks: ‘This passage is fulfilled today, right now: I am that Messiah, that promised Saviour, that King whose Kingdom will never end.’

If they had difficulty believing it (and they did), and if others throughout the centuries would have the same difficulty (and they would), at least Jesus made clear what exactly it was He wanted them to believe — that He is the Lord.

It is a worthy spiritual exercise every once in a while to examine our faith in Jesus as Lord.  Often we get so caught up in our efforts to follow Him, to fulfil our responsibilities, to imitate His virtues and to spread the faith that we forget about the majesty and nobility of our God.  Jesus is King of the universe.  He is the promised Messiah God had promised to send since the beginning of salvation history.  He will come again to judge all people, living and dead, and bring this fallen world to an end, resolving once and for all the struggle between good and evil.  Reflecting on this bigger picture can do wonders for putting our little pictures in proper perspective—the Lord’s perspective.

Fr John Bartunek (catholicexchange.com)

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