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Life in the Spirit (Monday of the 22nd week in Year B - Luke 4:16-30)
By Augustine Agwulonu
Mon, 31 Aug 2015

LIFE IN THE SPIRIT (Monday of the 22nd week in year B: Luke 4:16-30)

There is a question which we are confronted with when we read the narrative about Jesus' baptism - why was The Lord baptized? We may not get a totally satisfactory answer to this question in the present life. But as we reflect on The Lord's life, we can be satisfied with the practical purpose of Jesus' baptism. It brought about the consciousness of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in Jesus.

In today's Gospel reading, from Luke 4:16-30, we observe how Jesus manifested his consciousness of the Holy Spirit who was upon him. He declared: "the Spirit of The Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me." And he went on to enumerate what this Spirit anointed him to accomplish in the world:
to bring glad tidings to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.

It can be said that through Jesus' encounter with the Spirit of his Father, he developed his self-awareness. He gained an active self-knowledge, which continuously inspired him and propelled his actions in life. It was this same conviction about the Holy Spirit dwelling in him that made Jesus to affirm himself. He therefore cherished and expressed his Father-Son relationship with God, in a constant and positive appreciation of his status with God. The purpose of that was to fulfill his divine mandate and destiny, which would give God glory and bring salvation to humanity.

Our Christian faith which is sustained by the Holy Spirit dwelling in us has conferred a status upon us. It has revealed to us our relationship with God. Now, how self-aware are we about this, our divine elevation? What is the depth of our consciousness of the Power of the Holy Spirit at work in us? Can we confidently affirm our Christian status and bonding with God through an effective and a practical relationship with Jesus and love of neighbor? This is the example Jesus shows us with St. Luke's narrative about the event in the Synagogue of Nazareth (cf. Lk 4:16-30). 

The action that is required of us today is to be conscious, aware of and confess the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in us. We need a positive self affirmation based on the faith that we have received the Holy Spirit and that he is active in our lives.
Can we confidently declare, as Jesus affirmed: "the Spirit of The Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me?"


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