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Perfectly Free

The Spirit of the Lord has been given to Me, for He has anointed Me ... to set the downtrodden free
Nehemiah 8:2-6,8-10; Psalm 19:8-10,15; I Corinthians 12:12-30; Luke 1:1-4;4:14-21

Sermon Week Third Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle C

Scripture Summary Luke 4:18

A woman had been going through a particularly trying period in her life. Instead of turning to God, as many of us do when real problems come, she simply made herself busier and busier, burying herself in her work and other activities. In the midst of this, she was seriously injured in an accident and was hospitalized. While there, she had time to reflect on what had been happening in her life. She had time to pay attention, to close off everything else and just listen. It became for her a life-transforming experience, a new awareness of God’s Presence. In her own words:

"The feeling I had in this moment was a sense of freedom, of being unencumbered. It was as though the windows of my life had been washed. It was as though some part of me had been left behind, a part that was old and hard. In that hospital bed, the world was a very private place and I was quite alone. Then, all at once, I was not alone. There was no increase in light; there was no sound, no motion. Lying utterly still, I was aware of a Presence and I simply waited. Previously unable to accept, I was now accepting. I was allowing myself to be claimed. I was allowing this Grace to watch over me. And I knew what this Presence was. It was the Lord! Here was the glory of His patient Presence. Feelings of wonder gripped my soul and, with the wonder, peace. Not the peace the world knows, but at-one-ness with God. All at once I understood. I understood that I was not alone! The Lord was already there!"

In today's Gospel Lesson, Jesus goes into the synagogue on the Sabbath Day, as usual. There He reads from the scroll of the Prophet Isaiah:

"The Spirit of the Lord has been given to Me,
for He has anointed Me ...
to set the downtrodden free" (Lk. 4:18).

"This text is being fulfilled today,
even as you listen" (Lk. 4:21).

Today, right now, even as you listen, if you're feeling mighty low -- if you're feeling trapped in your [...]

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