January 24, 2016
Lk 1: 1-4; 4: 14-21
Since many have undertaken to set down an orderly account of the events that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed on to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, I too decided, after investigating everything carefully from the very first, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus,so that you may know the truth concerning the things about which you have been instructed.
Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone. When 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, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: “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, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
And 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. Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translation
Footprints of Gratitude
I once made a retreat at the place on the Sea of Galilee where, archaeologists say, Jesus performed the miracle of the loaves and fishes, and where he held that memorable breakfast picnic after his resurrection. An abundance of grass watered by springs, and a large flat rock on the beach furnish evidence about this. As I walked the beach and sat on large rocks to pray, I marveled that I may have been touching the very things that Jesus touched 2000 years ago.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus himself was reaching back some eight centuries to make his own the words of Isaiah about the longed-for Messiah: “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”
What a gift our faith is! We believe in the Salvation History that God has been writing since the creation of our race, and we see ourselves situated along that long path. One day we will sit with God and look back at our footprints in the sand of our lives – sometimes paired with God’s as we were led along, and at other times only a single set, when God was carrying us. Our hearts will almost burst with gratitude.
—Fr. Jack O’Callaghan, S.J. assists the Dean at Loyola University’s Stritch School of Medicine with programs in Ignatian Spirituality.
Loving God, Creator, Redeemer, Goal of our lives, thank you for the gift of our faith, which enables us to live in trust that we will one day be with you eternally. We thank you for the share you give us in your love, which inspires us to do whatever we can to bring others along with us to that marvelous Life your Son opened for us. We pray through Him, Christ our Lord.
—Fr. Jack O’Callaghan, S.J.
Please share the Good Word with your friends!