Australia Day weekend. Possibly only in Australia.
The statement in the Gospel today ought to be pondered in the context of these holidays. At Lake Weeroona this morning, we were greeted by the sight of portable concrete bollards running parallel with the adjacent road. And we sang, somewhat tiredly (after all, it did make 47.7 Celsius on Friday). What has happened to the land of the free? And then sang more for “those who’ve come across the seas”. We happily have settled some 2200 Karen people in the past ten years and the latest figure is that 162 families are buying their own houses.
So where does good news for the poor, liberty to captives, new sight for the blind, set the downtrodden free, let alone proclaim the Lord’s year of favour, fit in with our year just beginning? It will be full steam ahead next week with school resuming.
Nehemiah reminds us of an earlier beginning, and it began with a rediscovery of the Word of God. Jesus, and we note that he could read and we wonder who taught him, kickstarts his ministry at home with Scripture. He adapts it to his circumstances and, as we will see next week, gets run out of town for his proclamation. Thus, he answers one of our Lucan questions, he is to be a Prophetic Messiah and will, in time, suffer the fate of the Prophet.
With the Pope in Panama proclaiming the example of Saint Oscar Romero, maybe our looking at the Gospel this week may lead us to ponder in our homes, at work, in our Teams or in a Cardijn inspired group, let alone in our parishes, that we too “have been anointed with the Spirit” and we are called to announce today that same call of Isaiah and of Jesus to our generation. And not only us, but our Church must discover, via the call to the Plenary Council, just who today are the poor, the captives, the blind and the downtrodden. Then we set about doing something about our discovery…in Church and in small groups; at work, at play…and in our personal lives.
Happy Australia weekend…we are indeed blessed.