In today's first reading we heard
how the people of God stood for six
while the book of the Law of Moses, the whole of the Torah—
Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy—
was read and interpreted for
What were those words that moved them to tears?
I suspect it was
Deuteronomy, the last book of the Torah,
where Moses gives them God's
It specifically commands only two prayers,
the most important of
is the definitive statement of Jewish identity, the Shema.
it as the response Jesus gave
when he was asked about the greatest
Sh'ma Yisra'eil Adonai Eloheinu Adonai echad.
God is our God, God is One.
And you shall love your God with all your
and with all your soul
and with all your might.
Even through 70
years of exile and bondage
this prayer remained familiar
to the captive
Hearing it read and interpreted
would have resonated in their
Then we have today's
telling us that Jesus went to the synagogue
in his hometown of
and taught there.
Is that factual?
Yes, according to the
scores of scholars
taking part in the Jesus Seminar.
Jesus really did
teach in synagogues throughout Galilee.
Did he know about Isaiah's
That is also probably a fact.
The book of the prophet Isaiah was
popular in Jesus' time,
as shown by the great many surviving
As an observant Jew, Jesus would have heard it often.
Fr. Raymond Brown points out that this passage
is the only indication in all of scripture
that Jesus knew how to
and most scholars think that he did not read
because his was an oral
particularly for the peasants...
and he was a peasant.
Luke's story is TRUE.
Jesus did preach the fulfillment of jubilee
It's the message Jesus taught,
and it's the message of the
prophets that Isaiah taught,
and it's the message of the law that Ezra
All through our scriptures the jubilee message is clear:
us to the works of justice.
The anawim—the sick, the poor, the slaves,
oppressed, the powerless—
are God's highest
And no one is exempt
from doing justice.
Paul, in our second reading, tells the
that fulfilling the word of God
needs each one of them and all
readers, interpreters, listeners, workers, and pray-ers.
and each one does
This afternoon we
gather, just as our forebears gathered,
to hear about Ezra reading the Torah
to the returning exiles,
about Paul preaching the word to the
and about Jesus preaching to the people of his hometown.
in each of those scriptures we hear
God calling US to take action for
to bring good news to the poor,
to proclaim liberty to
to let the oppressed go free.
God is calling each one of
to bring a jubilee of justice to our world.
We can, with Pope Francis,
call it mercy.
We can answer the call in many
each of us with our own gifts and, as Paul says,
each of us an
essential member of the one body of Christ.
We can work to end human
or to reform the criminal justice system,
or to welcome
or to house the homeless,
or to educate children,
or to care
or to make
However and whenever we
do the work of justice,
we take our place in the long line of the people of
who hear the word of God and find a way in our daily lives
the “golden rule”
that is common to every major religious tradition.
Jesus puts it,
“Do to others
whatever you would have them do to
This is the law AND the
So we continue the
Thanks be to God!
Holy Spirit Catholic
Saturdays at 4:30 p.m.
Sundays at 5:30 p.m.
at 3925 West
Central Avenue (Washington Church)
Dr. Bev Bingle, Pastor
Mailing address: 3156 Doyle Street, Toledo, OH