Homily for Thursday after Epiphany (1)







Homily for Thursday after Epiphany
Theme: Open your eyes of faith
By: Fr. Mike Lagrimas

St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches
Homily for Thursday January 6 2022
Lk 4:14-22
Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news of him spread throughout the whole region. He taught in their synagogues and was praised by all.
He came to Nazareth, where he had grown up, and went according to his custom into the synagogue on the sabbath day. He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written:
“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.” Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down, and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him. He said to them, “Today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” And all spoke highly of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They also asked, “Isn’t this the son of Joseph?”
Jesus comes home to Nazareth where He grew up. And, as He customarily does, He goes to the synagogue. And this time, He stands up to do the reading. It is from the Book of Isaiah that describes the Messiah’s mission. “And the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him.”
Needless to say, they are curious about what He is going to say about the reading. These are His townmates. Almost all of them know Him since His childhood. They have seen Him running through their streets. Some of them even are His playmates. At some point, they have asked His assistance in carrying furniture that He and His foster father Joseph have made. Jesus is well known to them, and He is no different from the other people in their town. He is just the ‘son of a carpenter’.
And now, they see Him in front of them. They have heard so many things about Him and all that He did in the other parts of the region: His powerful teachings and miraculous deeds, His power over the evil spirits and His good deeds towards the poor, the sick and the sinners. And they all have same questions running in their minds: What happened to Him? How come this ordinary man we know is doing all these incredible things? And what is He going to say to us now? “And the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him.”
And Jesus drops the bombshell: “Today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing!” In front of all His townmates, He categorically claims the Messiahship: “He has anointed me.” Then He proclaims His vision-mission statement. His vision is to bring mankind to eternal salvation. That is precisely what the name Jesus means: “God saves.” And to bring about His vision, He quotes the Prophet Isaiah for His mission: “to bring glad tidings to the poor…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.”
The initial reaction of the people is overwhelmingly favorable: “And all spoke highly of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth.” But immediately, doubts creep in: “Isn’t this the son of Joseph?” All facts strongly point to Jesus as the Messiah. But the people choose to ignore these as they insist on their ’knowledge’ of Him as just an ordinary man. “And the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him.” Yes, they look intently, but they refuse to see. In fact, towards the end of this narrative, they even rose up against Him and tried to hurl Him down the cliff. Very sad, indeed!
Every time we come to the most solemn part of the Mass, the consecration, the priest elevates the bread and wine in the chalice. They have now become the True Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. We look at the Sacred Host. Do we see the Body of Jesus? We look at the chalice filled with the Sacred Wine. Do we see the Blood of Jesus? Yes, we can, if we just open the eyes of our faith. This is what the townmates of Jesus fail to do: they just open the eyes of their body, but not the eyes of faith. So, for them, Jesus is just one of the ordinary guys, and He cannot be the Messiah.
Every time we come to Mass, let us always ask the Lord to open our eyes of faith so that we may truly worship and adore Jesus Christ truly present in the ordinary forms of bread and wine in the Eucharist.
Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches




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