To desire healing

Thanks to St Luke we have, in chapter four of his gospel, this succinct and powerful account of Jesus making known the mission from God that he understands himself to be on. He has found the summary of his purpose in the words of the prophet Isaiah: to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.

Most startlingly, Jesus says, this starts right now, here, with them, at this moment: “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” In other words, God’s program of redemption goes beyond their boundaries and extends to the surrounding nations—to people who will accept this invitation much more readily than they themselves. The people of Nazareth do not like this. They remain oppressed by their own short-sightedness and captive to their own exclusivity.

It is still the same for us. Until we get the fact that we ourselves are oppressed by interior forces of which we are often ignorant, and over which we have little ability or will to oppose, we will not be able to participate fully in the mission of Jesus.

But by the healing grace of God, we are set in communities that mirror us to ourselves—much of what we are is there to see—and we are slowly taught to understand what it is we are looking at. If you show a small animal her face in a mirror she will often not only not recognize herself, but she will not even know what the object is that you are holding out to her. She will only say, “Hmm, is it safe? is it food?” If we, likewise, don’t recognize our concentric communal situations as mirrors given for our healing, the main thing they will be for us is possible sources of threat or consumption, when not sources of scandal (“Look at what that stupid person is doing,” and so on).

Fortunately the mirrors can work positively as well. Holiness and self-discipline and joy in others spurs holiness and discipline and joy in ourselves. Now is the year of the Lord’s favor. Now we are being given the opportunity to grow up into our full stature in Christ. The more we engage this ongoing process of healing, repentance and conversion, the more we will be able to take on our share of Jesus’s mission in the world. It starts here.

Recent Issues

October 2022

September 2022

July 2022

May 2022

April 2022

March 2022

January 2022

December 2021

November 2021

October 2021

June 2021

May 2021

April 2021

February 2021

January 2021

December 2020

October 2020

September 2020

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

December 2019

November 2019

October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

January 2019

December 2018

November 2018

October 2018

September 2018

August 2018

July 2018

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

December 2016

November 2016

October 2016

September 2016

August 2016

July 2016

June 2016

May 2016

April 2016

March 2016

February 2016

January 2016

December 2015

November 2015

October 2015

September 2015

August 2015

July 2015

June 2015

May 2015