Daily Meditation: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me. He has anointed me"
Gospel text (Lk 4,14-22):
Jesus acted with the power of the Spirit, and on his return to Galilee the news about him spread throughout all that territory. He began teaching in the synagogues of the Jews and everyone praised him.
When Jesus came to Nazareth where he had been brought up, he entered the synagogue on the sabbath as he usually did. He stood up to read and they handed him the book of the prophet Isaiah. Jesus then unrolled the scroll and found the place where it is written: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me. He has anointed me to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives and new sight to the blind; to free the oppressed and announce the Lord's year of mercy".
Jesus then rolled up the scroll, gave it to the attendant and sat down, while the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he said to them, "Today these prophetic words come true even as you listen". All agreed with him and were lost in wonder, while he kept on speaking of the grace of God.
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me. He has anointed me"
Today, we remember that "he who loves God love his brother also" (1Jn 4:21). How can we love God, whom we do not see, when we do not love our brother who is made in God's image? After Saint Peter had disowned Him three times, Jesus asked Peter whether he loved Him: "Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you" (Jn 21:17), he said. Jesus also asks us, as He did with Saint Peter: "Do you love me?", and we want to answer: —Lord, you know all things, you know that I love you despite my weaknesses; but let me prove it to you, help me discover my brothers' needs, to truly give myself to the needy and neglected, to accept them as they are, to value them.
Love is first man's calling. The Lord calls us to give ourselves to bring true happiness to others. As Saint John of the Cross says, "at the evening of our day we shall be judged by our loving". At the evening of each day, it is appropriate that we pause to examine ourselves to determine how we expressed our love, focusing on those aspects that we need to improve to make our loving an even greater blessing to others.
In His messianic proclamation Jesus said "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me" (Lk 4:18). It is the Spirit of Love that "anointed the Messiah to bring good news to the poor" (cf. Lk 4:18), who also “rests” upon us and guides us towards perfect love: as the Second Vatican Council points out, "all the faithful ones, of any estate or condition, are welcome to the plenitude of Christian life and the perfection of Charity". If we allow it, the Holy Spirit will transform us just as He changed the Apostles, so that we can act under His influence, even as He grants us His blessings, bringing them to all our hearts, as Saint Paul wrote: «But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law» (Gal 5:22-23).
Fr. Llucià POU i Sabater
Audio: January 10th (Weekdays of the Christmas season)