Today’s gospel announces the public mission of Jesus Christ to all God’s people. He has come to bring the good news to the poor; liberty to captives; sight to the blind; freedom to the oppressed, and to declare the Lord’s year of Divine favour. He concludes by stating that this mandate is already fulfilled by his presence. We have every reason to believe in this mandate. Both the person and mission of Jesus Christ are reliable. Little wonder the psalm of today says; your words Lord are spirit and life.
The first reading ends with the expression; the joy of the Lord is your stronghold. We derive our strength from the goodness of God. His joy heralds good tidings. We become strong and active when we feel the protection and providence of God in our lives. This he has promised in the gospel mandate of today. God so loved the world that he has given his only son to the course of the world’s salvation. This is a love beyond all telling. By involving Jesus Christ in this endeavour, God seals an everlasting covenant with us. No power of hell can come between God and us for we are under the influence of Christ Jesus. The power of this covenant derives from the blood of Jesus Christ. We can be rest assured that it will last forever.
The mandate has a place for each of us! It is from the mind of God, thus it accommodates all our worries and peculiar situations. A caring God has declared a year of divine favour in 2013. A year that will see us blessed! The sorts of blessing that will open doors to opportunities and privileges. It is a year that will liberate us from the habit and slavery of particular sins. It is a year that will give us insight into making our future secured in Christ Jesus. It is a year that will take us away from the memory lane of regrets and sadness, to the highway of optimism and joy. Rejoice child of God, for the joy of the Lord is indeed your stronghold!
Fr. Anthony Ekpunobi, C.M.