This year, we will become aware of the fact, that the Gospel readings will be taken mainly from the writings of St. Luke. What a gift, what a blessing, this is going to be for us who are broken, bruised, and weakened from our human experience as spiritual beings. The Gospel of Luke is also called the Gospel of the poor. Looking at this Gospel, through the lens of our brokenness and poverty, will offer to you and I great hope and consolation. It will enlighten and enliven the spirit within us. That is why it is also called the Gospel of the Holy Spirit. Gospel, means good news, right? There is a snag to that, and here it is . You see “the good news has to become bad news before it can become good news”.
Eugene LaVerdiere has this to say in his book on the Gospel of Luke, (The book is called "Luke").
“Luke’s narrative of the story of Jesus can be summarized as a human life and the message of the son of God. In view of the disciples association with Jesus, it can also be seen as a human life and message of those who share in His divine friendship.”
The message, and the ministry, of Jesus Christ, can best be summed up in the words of Jesus Himself, which are found in the fourth chapter
of Luke. This is how The Jesus of Luke, describes His mission and ministry "The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recover of sight for the blind, to let the oppressed go free." You and I then have the same mission. We are called to the vocation of being that presence, which He has described. A tall order, for us ALONE , yes, but we are not alone. We have within us, the same Spirit, who descended on Jesus at the Jordan, and raised Him from the dead . That is what it means to be Baptized.
We may well ask the question, “where do I have to go to find that poor person, the prisoner in captivity, that person who needs sight to really see reality, and lastly the oppressed one aching for freedom?”. You and I have to look no further than the mirror. That person, who so desperately needs to hear the good news is both waiting on, and wanting the Good news, is within you and I. We have to begin our ministry to the suffering one, that is the suffering Christ, within ourselves first. We then will be able to be an authentic presence of Him, who has called and chosen us for this vocation from all of eternity. This is who we are, who we have been called to be, and now it is time to acknowledge who has done the calling. On reflection, this reality makes each one of us, someone very special, in God's universal plan.
Last, but in no way least, what we do to the poor one, we are doing it for Christ, The Christ within, check Matt 25. As we are led deeper within ourselves, and there is no result until we go deep, (this week’s Gospel) we will be led to an encounter with the good news . This is the Good News, you are loved as you are, no questions are asked. It is not only you who is suffering, Christ has joined you, and IS suffering within you, through you, and with you. So, then the opening prayer of this week’s Mass is really true, "no tear goes unheeded'. Why that is so simple! When you cry, Christ cries in you and with you. How can God not pay attention to the cries and tears of His beloved Son.
The bad news is, there will always be some part of ourselves, we will find it hard and difficult, to bring the good news to. Why? As I reach out in compassionate understanding I am tacitly accepting what I have up to now, that is rejected or denied. From this place we pray "out of the depths of my fear, anger and shame I cry out you my Savior God. I alone cannot face this part of me, I need your grace, I need your help to discover the reality of you within this place of me". The secret place is now exposed, and merciful love, now begins to flow. The threshold into freedom has been crossed. We are now the incarnation of the good news in this. So then, we now have the experience of good news becoming bad news so it can become good news.
“We are as sick as we are secret.” [John Barryman]
"Where there is no love, sew love, and, you will find love." [St. John of the Cross]