Scripture Reflection for Sunday
December 14, 2014
by Dave O’Donnell
“The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
because the LORD has anointed me;
he has sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor,
to heal the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives
and release to the prisoners,” (IS 1:1-2A)
In Luke’s Gospel Jesus reads this scripture to the crowds at the temple to announce Himself and His ministry to the people. For this and many other reasons, scripture gives me and experience has confirmed, I see Jesus as the Great Emancipator. His mission is to lead us to freedom from the oppression of family, religion, self, ego and even death. And put these things in their proper perspective. The reward for following Jesus is freedom.
In the epistle, Paul tells us to
“Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing.
In all circumstances give thanks,
May the God of peace make you perfectly holy…” (1THES 5:16-23)
If I am to become perfectly holy, it will have to be God that accomplishes that in me. I know I can’t do it on my own.
The idea of giving thanks in all circumstances opens up the possibility of seeing a path that just might lead to growth, maybe even holiness. Giving thanks requires non-judgment and that combination of non-judgment and gratitude leads to insight and trust with the possibility of seeing how God operates in us. God is love and love changes everything.
How difficult it is though to give thanks for the failures in our lives. Conversely, denial of our failures can be catastrophic. I am a grateful mistake maker.
We are a community of laymen and laywomen who, with vowed Passionists, seek to share in the charism of St. Paul of the Cross through prayer, ongoing spiritual formation, and proclamation of the message of Christ Crucified.