He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.
Some translations use the phrase “a year of favor” or “Year of Restoration” or “Jubilee Year. The Book of Leviticus (chapter 25) helps us understand better the meaning of this phrase to the ancient Jewish people. The poor who sold their land in order to buy food, would get it back. Debts would be canceled. The poor who sold themselves as a slave, would once again be free. This incredible generosity is a reflection of the infinite generosity of our God.
He said to them, Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing. With the coming of Jesus, it was a “year of favor” for the Jewish people (and for us as well) – as by His passion, death and resurrection, the debt of sin has been canceled. Our spiritual poverty has been taken away by Jesus. Each time we go to Confession, “our debt of sin” – our failure to love, gets canceled by Jesus Christ.
St. Paul in today’s second reading speaks about the church as the body of Christ. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part is honored, all parts share its joy. Our sins, while seemingly only personal at times, really have an impact on the entire body of Christ. St. Paul tells us that each person’s role is important for the well-being and success of Christ’s body on earth. The Spirit of the Lord is upon each one of us to grow the Kingdom of God – to love and forgive in a radically generous way, as Jesus did and continues to do so for us.
God bless us all always!