We Are Anointed And Share In The Mission

9.4.18 Tues. wk. 22 – O. T.  (II)
Corinthians  2:  10b – 16
Gospel  Luke  4:  31 – 37

Jesus went down to Capernaum, a town of Galilee.  He taught them on the sabbath, and they were astonished at his teaching because he spoke with authority.  In the synagogue there was a man with the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out in a loud voice, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us?* I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”  Jesus rebuked him and said, “Be quiet! Come out of him!” Then the demon threw the man down in front of them and came out of him without doing him any harm.  They were all amazed and said to one another, “What is there about his word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.”  And news of him spread everywhere in the surrounding region.  The Gospel of the Lord.

Homily:  Fr. Mike Murphy                           We Are Anointed And Share In The Mission

When you were Baptized – did you know that you were anointed with Sacred Chrism, and the priest or the Deacon put it on the crown of your head?  These are the words he said when he anointed you with the Chrism oil: “God the Father of our Lord †Jesus Christ, has freed you from sin…He now anoints you with the Chrism of Salvation, as Christ was anointed – Priest, Prophet and King – so you may live always as a member of His Body sharing everlasting life”.  We are all anointed in the image of †Jesus with that special Chrism Oil.

In the Gospel yesterday, †Jesus applied these words of Isaiah to Himself: “The Spirit of the Lord has anointed me”. (Luke 4:18)   By virtue of our shared anointing – we share in the Mission of †Jesus, the Mission as it was prophesied by Isaiah: “To bring glad tidings to the poor…to proclaim liberty to the captives…recovery of sight to the blind…to let the oppressed go free…and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord”. (ibid)  †Jesus said to those gathered in the synagogue: “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing”. (Luke 4:21)  If we share in the anointing and the Mission of †Jesus – then this Scripture passage from Isaiah has to be fulfilled in us as well; this is our mission.  In our daily life – do we bring glad tidings to the poor?  In our daily life – do we proclaim liberty to captives… give sight to the blind… let the oppressed go free… and proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord?

Now – we advance forward to today’s Gospel.  †Jesus has now traveled from Nazareth to Capernaum.  And something about the words of †Jesus made the people there stand up and listen.  They were amazed at His teaching.  After He had cured the possessed man in Capernaum, the people exclaimed: “What is there about His word”? (Luke 4:36)

By the way we live our lives – by the way we speak to others – are people amazed at us?  Do they think there is something special about our words?  Do people see the Word of God alive in you?  Do they recognize the power of God’s Word in each one of us?   Possibly, we just don’t understand ‘The Power of the Word of God’ – that we possess.   We read in Psalm 33: “By the Word of God, the heavens were made”. (vs.6)  By our words of faith, hope and love – we can bring new life to the lives of other people – to re-create new life in them – just as the Word of God created life at the beginning of time.  The Lord’s living Word in us – can create new life in others.

The creative word of God living in us – can bring joy and new life to the poor.  It can also bring a new-found freedom to those who are held captive by hopelessness – and can bring sight to the spiritually blind.  That’s the Power of the Word that each one of us possesses – because we are anointed as †Jesus was anointed.  The Word of God – as the prophet Jeremiah wrote is like “a hammer shattering rock”. (Jer. 23:29)  It can break through the hardest heart.  The author of the Letter to the Hebrews writes: “The word of God is living and effective – sharper than any two-edged sword – penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow”. (Heb.4:12)  There is nothing God’s Word cannot break through – if we open our hearts to receive it.  There is no pain, no hopelessness, nothing in our lives that cannot be touched by the Word of God – if we just open our hearts to receive it. This is the power and mission that we share with †Jesus – when we choose to live “The Word of God”; when: “We are not merely hearers of the Word – but doers of the Word” – as we heard in the Letter of James (1:21f) on Sunday.  This is how we share in “the mind of Christ” (1 Cor.2:16) as St. Paul wrote in our reading today.

The anointing that we have all received at our Baptism has the power to change us.  As St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians: “We have not received the spirit of the world – but the Spirit who is from God – so that we may fully understand the things freely given us by God.” (1 Cor.2:12) It is a share in the power of †Jesus Christ… a share in the power of the Holy Spirit… a share in the creative power of God”.  That’s what we have.

“The Spirit of the Lord has anointed us”.

Let the Word of God live in us – because it has the power to change our lives.

In the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.