Jesus reads, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor . . .” Then he concludes, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” In this passage from Luke Jesus reveals that he understands himself and his mission. Jesus isn’t afraid to be who he is regardless of the reactions of others. Some will revere him, some will ignore him, and some will undoubtedly reject him because “no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s hometown.” The townspeople have a hard time accepting Jesus for who he is, the anointed, the Messiah. Jesus does not try to explain or convince people. He doesn’t beg others to follow or believe him. In fact, after accepting the outcome of his message, Jesus simply “went on his way.”
If only I were as sure about myself and my vocation as Jesus appears to be in Luke’s gospel. I know the Holy Spirit is with me, but I forget. I know God sends me forth each day to be a person who loves, forgives, and helps . . . but I forget. Perhaps if I prayed with and read scripture more often, like Jesus does in this passage, I might remember. And then, when the outcomes aren’t what I hope for, I might be better able to accept things and go on my way.
How can we build reading and praying with scripture into our day? What should we accept and leave behind so that we can better live out our vocation?
—Sharron Deax Hanisch earned a Master of Theological Studies degree from the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry (formerly Weston Jesuit School of Theology). She is the mother of four children and a teacher at the School of Lectio Divina, St. Joseph Monastery, Tulsa, OK