Isaiah 61, Day 1

“Isaiah 61, Day 1” (2 panels)
Isaiah 61:1
©️2020 by Gloria M. Chang

The spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me;
He has sent me to bring good news to the afflicted,
to bind up the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
release to the prisoners,

To announce a year of favor from the Lord
and a day of vindication by our God.

Isaiah 61:1-2a

Jesus read this passage from a scroll of the prophet Isaiah in the synagogue of his hometown Nazareth and declared, “Today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:18-21). The “year of favor” referred to the release of slaves and debtors in the Jubilee year (Leviticus 25:10-11). 

At first, the Nazareans welcomed these “gracious words,” assuming that Jesus shared their nationalistic views and sentiments. When he proceeded to recount God’s favor to the widow of Sidon in the days of Elijah, and to Naaman the Syrian in the time of Elisha, a fury arose to drive the son of Joseph out of the town.

The anointed king and bearer of good tidings to the poor came to set his people free from the bondage of sin, the only path to universal peace. The unexpected weapon to vanquish sin and death—the Cross—sent all his disciples fleeing save one. All hopes of a triumphant, conquering Messiah seemed dashed as Jewish and Roman authorities closed in on him. Yet no power on earth was able to defeat the invincible love of the Son of God pleading to his Father to forgive his enemies.

As we ponder the mystery of Christ from the crib to the Cross, Jesus’ crucial question to his disciples challenges every thoughtful person: “But who do you say that I am?” (Mark 8:29; Matthew 16:15; Luke 9:20)

2 Replies to “Isaiah 61, Day 1”

  1. Dear GMC, I will pray for you and your intentions as I meditate on the Luminous mysteries tonight. Thank you for your reflections and responses. They speak to my heart and help me reflect, pray, and act!

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