‘Cliffhanger’ – Monday, 22nd Week in ordinary time – Lk 4:16-30

We begin today the Gospel of Luke and will continue meditating on this Gospel till the end of this year’s liturgical cycle. The author of this Gospel is Luke who is also the author of Acts of the Apostles. He hailed from Syrian Antioch and we know that he was a physician, a master of the Greek language and a companion or collaborator of St Paul. Luke wrote this Gospel sometime between the years 80-85 AD.

Writing in pluralistic Syrian Antioch, he addresses a predominantly Gentile audience and presents a compassionate Jesus whose mission is inclusive and not exclusive. Jesus has a preferential option for the poor, the lost and sinners whom he restores to God. Luke uses the Gospel of Mark as his primary source to tell the narrative of the ‘Lucan Jesus’.

Luke presents Jesus as one who walks the talk. Right at the outset of His Galilean ministry, Jesus announces his mission for the poor and those on the fringes, especially the Gentiles.  It is in His hometown of Nazareth that Jesus declares publically His pastoral mission. There are six incidences in Luke’s Gospel that has Jesus actively involved on the Sabbath.

The Sabbath service was not a triennial cycle of readings as we have them in Church today nor was it led by the ‘ministerial priesthood ‘as we have it today. The reading of today tells us in verse 23 that the people of Nazareth were aware of the things that Jesus had done in Capernaum and in a way acknowledge Him as a Rabbi and so they honour him by allowing him to read the scriptures and preach to them.

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