(Luke 4:14-21) This is Jesus’ first homily as recorded by Luke. Jesus sets His ministry in the words of the Prophet Isaiah, language that reflects the Biblical idea of a Jubilee or Sabbatical year. It is a year when debts were forgiven, property went back to their original owners, and prisoners were set free. This homily prefigures Jesus’ teaching and actions throughout the Gospel of Luke. It is a concern for the marginalized and freedom for those oppressed. The words of this inaugural address by Jesus are filled with hope for the poor, the helpless, and the oppressed.
Pope Francis has called a “Jubilee or Holy Year” emphasizing God’s mercy. God’s mercy sets us free. We need to feel it in our own lives, then we need to be merciful to others. We need to “free” ourselves from old resentments and hatreds. Only then will we be “released from captivity.”