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The good news for the day August 29

Monday of the twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time (431)

When Jesus came home to Nazareth, the town where he grew up, He went—according to His custom—into the synagogue on the Sabbath, the day for prayer and teaching. When He stood up to read, He was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah. As He unrolled the scroll, He found that passage where this was written: The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me; that Spirit has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. That Spirit has sent me to proclaim liberty to people restrained, recovery of sight to people blind—and let burdened folks go free, and announce an era acceptable to the Lord. (Luke 4)

To appreciate the “Spirit of the LORD” requires backtracking. Too easily you and I dismiss this as the boring, abstract Third Person of the Trinity—and skip ahead. Without denying that, here “spirit” clearly means first of all an attitude, a character trait, and passion in your core—as in “what is the SPIRIT you bring to your job, this game, this rally, your political commitment?” In fact, almost every time we find the word ‘spirit’ in Scripture you might better think of it as ‘passion,’enthusiasm’ or “eagerness.” In scripture, “spirit’ refers to God triggering creativity, commitment and readiness to change the world. His Spirit is your subjective side—God inside of you—hurrying you towards effecting improvement and bringing order out of chaos—as the Creator of the world always has wanted (See Genesis)

This ‘mission statement’ of Jesus is about His ache and ambition to improve this world—the kind of passion, or spirit, He wants you to have, too. He feels urgent to free people from bonds of bad habits, from being controlled by others; He want to break superiority and inequality in this world (“this generation’); He wants to open eyes to beauty, wisdom, and truth; He wants to create a different ‘year’—a cycle that, like each year, would grow people into maturity, over the passage of seasons. You share His Task and Spirit—to continue co-Creating our World Anew!

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