That Day at Nazareth

Friends in Christ, from the time of Adam and Eve, the world had waited for the Savior. The mysterious events set down in the Old Testament pointed by symbol to the coming Redeemer. The prophets foretold his coming, and by the time of Christ, the world of the Jewish people was in a ferment, an almost palpable feeling that the time was near. It was in that climate, that we encounter today the sleepy little town of Nazareth. Let Fr. Goodier[i] explain it to us today:
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‘It was here in Nazareth that the boy Jesus had grown up, for close to 30 years it was his happy home. The hills around were full of memories of his boyhood, and it was inevitable that his heart should still linger in that little town. On the morning of the Sabbath, Jesus was to be seen making his way through the narrow streets to the synagogue. There in the old days, he had taken his turn in reading. Today they would ask him to take his turn again, he might have something to say about all that he had been doing – how he had gathered some followers, and something that happened at Cana with the wine.
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Word spreads quickly in a small town, and soon the synagogue was full of anxious people, who wondered about this local son of theirs. Invited to the pulpit to read, he accepted as if this were but one more ordinary occasion. Rising from his seat near the back, he came forward and the scroll of Isaiah was handed to him.
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And he read: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he had anointed me; to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the captives, to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord. Rolling up the scroll he gave it to the attendant, and sat down.
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Jesus was strangely quiet. They had just heard the words of Isaiah speaking about the Redeemer who would come. Jesus’ manner, his quiet, held them; and the eyes of all were gazing on him. Then firmly, as would speak a master in Israel, the words rang through the silence of the synagogue: ‘Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.’
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Friends, who can imagine what was in the minds of the people of that small town. The entire world had awaited the great redeemer; so what has just been said to them? If we were there, in that room, I know that our hearts would be full of happiness, to know that the Redeemer has come.
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[i] The Public LIfe of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Alban Goodier, p. 130 (Vol II)

Luke Winkelmann

 

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