Monday, September 3, 2012

Appropriate for Labor Day

There are no special readings for Labor Day , the readings for today are the ones that merely by coincidence land on this day. The gospel, however, does remind us of where, if we choose to follow the example of Jesus, we should focus our attention.

Today we get that great moment when Jesus returns to Nazareth, enters the synagogue on the sabbath, unrolls the scroll of Isaiah the prophet and reads:

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 recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.

For such a great moment why this passage?

Jesus singles out four groups of people. Lets look more closely at who they are:
πτωχός - poor, literally a begger, the guy sitting on the street corner.
αἰχμάλωτος -captive, literally prisoners of war
τυφλός- blind, those with cloudy vision
Τεθρυοσμενους- oppressed, literally those that are bruised.

While today is not the astronomical end of summer, Labor day culturally marks for us the end of summer and vacations and the beginning of school and the return to the routine. As we get busy with our jobs and our lives how often will we even think about the four groups mentioned above. Jesus makes it clear that these are the people at the forefront of his concern. Can the same be said of us?