father_karl_216Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In today’s Gospel Jesus quotes from the prophet Isaiah and set out his mission statement of what he is about. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord. ”Read through it because it could equally be a mission statement for the Jubilee year of mercy. Proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.

Take a look at the images. The Poor Who is the Poor? People can be financially and materially Poor, yet have a rich spirituality and reach out and help others.

We also can have those who are financially and materially rich but spiritually and morally poor, The Powerful and influential can sometimes be values poor and merciless. All of these are part of the images that come to mind when Jesus speaks of the Poor.

We may not see ourselves as identifying with any one of these images but we too are in need of Jesus’s mercy and compassion

Very often we think of captives as prisoners, but they can be people in hospitals or homes with no one to visit trapped by their frailty or fear. They can be people trapped by illness. These are the people that Jesus wants to free. He challenges us to reach out to them through our visits or by joining programs that helps them break free. Many of the images for poor could equally apply to the word blind. There are the physically blind but there are those trapped by other forms of blindness. Where am I trapped?

And finally there are the oppressed. We can look at areas of the world and recognize oppression ,but what of ourselves and our world? Can we recognize it in ourselves and in our world and what can we do to free ourselves and our world from it? All of these images are thoughts and reflections for the Year of Mercy and asks us again to take a look at the corporal works of mercy and how they influence us in the living out of our faith.

Help us Lord to see you in or brothers and sisters and to treat them with the respect we want to show you.

Pray for me as I pray for you,

Fr Karl