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Friends, today’s Gospel recounts Jesus’ inaugural address in his hometown synagogue. Jesus reads words from the prophet Isaiah that he felt best summed up who he was and what his mission was. Therefore, it behooves us to listen carefully.
Jesus first says, “The spirit of the Lord is upon me.” The Ruach Yahweh, the breath of God, the spirit that hovered over the surface of the waters at the beginning of time, the life energy of God—this is what has seized and animated Jesus.
Animated by the Ruach Yahweh, what does Jesus do? He brings “glad tidings to the poor,” “liberty to captives,” and “recovery of sight to the blind.” In other words, he brings God’s love to those who are marginalized by injustice, freedom to those who are imprisoned in sin, and healing to those whose very self has been broken.
After the Paschal Mystery and Resurrection, he breathed on his disciples, communicating to them something of this spirit—and drawing them into this mission.