The Spirit is absolutely essential

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Rev. Anthony Giamello
Pastor, St. John the Apostle/St. Bernadette

This Sunday’s gospel describes how Jesus participated in the Sabbath prayer of the synagogue in his native place in Nazareth with a band of his disciples. The synagogue Liturgy of the Word was based on seven readings. The first four were from the Law (the Torah or the Pentateuch) followed by explanations given by the rabbi who was the teacher of the Law. The second set of three readings, taken from the prophets, could be read and interpreted by any male over thirty years of age.  It was in this second capacity that Jesus read and preached on the passage from Isaiah (61:1-2).  Naturally, the people of his native place were curious to hear from this carpenter-turned-prophet who had grown up among them and who had worked miracles throughout Galilee.  Luke reports that Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news of him spread throughout the whole region. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,” Jesus said, “because He has anointed me…” This “power of the Spirit” was absolutely essential in order for Jesus to complete his earthly mission.

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