Turn off your cell phone, TV, or radio. Listen to the silence that is around you. Listen for God to speak to you.
“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,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
20 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. 21 Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
Luke opens the Book of Acts by addressing Theophilus, saying, “I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning.” The NRSV, unfortunately, misses this translation. A literal translation would read, “all that Jesus began both to do and to teach.” The difference is significant because Christ’s work did not stop when he ascended. Instead, the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Church and we have become the Body of Christ.
St Teresa of Avila wrote a famous meditation about the Church, she writes, “Christ has no body now on earth, but yours, No hands but yours, No feet but yours, Yours are the eyes through which is to look out Christ’s compassion to the world; Yours are the feet with which he is to go about doing good; Yours are the hands with which he is to bless men now. Amen.”
When Jesus ascended and sent the Holy Spirit to the Church, the Church then took upon the mission of Christ. The Holy Spirit has been given to the Church collectively, but also to each of us individually. We all take part in the mission of God, as outlined in this passage. We who have the Holy Spirit residing in us must be concerned for the poor, the oppressed, the blind, and the prisoner. The churches that we are all members must also be about this work as well.
God, help us to be about your work. Help us to not only call attention to the problems of the world, but to bring light, freedom, and peace. Amen
Go with God!