Saturday, December 10, 2005

The Third Sunday of Advent

The spirit of the Lord has been given to me,
for the Lord has anointed me.
He has sent me to bring good news to the poor,
to bind up hearts that are broken;

to proclaim liberty to captives,
freedom to those in prison;
to proclaim a year of favour from the Lord,
a day of vengeance for our God.

I exult for joy in the Lord,
my soul rejoices in my God,
for he has clothed me in the garments of salvation,
he has wrapped me in the cloak of integrity,
like a bridegroom wearing his wreath,
like a bride adorned in her jewels.

For as the earth makes fresh things grow,
as a garden makes seeds spring up,
so will the Lord make both integrity and praise
spring up in the sight of the nations.
Isaiah 61:1 – 11

Jesus commented on this passage:

And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up; and he went to the synagogue, as his custom was, on the sabbath day. And he stood up to read; and there was given to him the book of the prophet Isaiah. He opened the book and found the place where it was written, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord." And he closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant, and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, "Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing."Luke 4:16-21

The reading from Isaiah is a direct prophecy of the coming of the Messiah, fulfilled in the person of Jesus. His statement that "Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing” proclaimed the arival of the Messiah. That the prophecies are fulfilled, and more than fulfilled: for the Father sent his only begotten Son as the Messiah! The power of sin will be defeated, and those who accept His free offer of grace will be reconciled into the Family of God.

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