This is my first reflection for the new year, a time when many people around the world like me welcome the time to start over, to dust off resolutions and try to do better. Today’s Gospel reminds me of those resolutions as Jesus goes to the synagogue and proclaims a year acceptable to the Lord. What he reads also calls for bringing glad tidings to the poor, to bring liberty to captives, recovery of sight to the blind and to let the oppressed go free.
I resolve to proclaim my own year acceptable to the Lord. I can start now and keep renewing that promise every day in prayer and actions. In proclaiming my year acceptable to the Lord, I can live out these words in my own way. I can offer my help to the poor, to those people who feel forgotten. I can try to free myself from the captivity of consumerism and always wanting more. I can free myself from the captivity of always being plugged in and multitasking. I can open my eyes and really see the people I am talking to, the people I am spending time with. I can offer prayers and love to those oppressed by fear and tribulations.
And in my own year acceptable to the Lord, I need to listen and live out to the words in the first reading: We must love God and our neighbor, our brother. We need to see God in all of our brothers and neighbors. In my year acceptable to the Lord, I will pray for the compassion and strength to do that every day. The Gospel tells us that Jesus returned in the power of the Holy Spirit. I pray that I open my heart and mind to the power of the Holy Spirit in the world.
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