23RD MAY 2012
EXPECTATION OF THE MESSIAH AND HIS SPIRIT
(IS 42:1, MK 1:10-11, MT 3:16-17, LK 3:2, JN 1:32-34)
My Beloved, when God pierced time and You became incarnate of the Virgin, Mother Mary, it seemed to the chosen people that they were forgotten by Him. Their most famous king David had long since been dead and his line of successors were now known only as those belonging to the house of David. His descendants were without any sovereignty and did not wield any power. Israel was under the oppressive rule of foreigners and under the thumb of the mighty Roman empire. There seemed no hope at all for God's people. Truly the stump of Jesse seemed like dead wood. Then when all hope seemed futile and was at its lowest ebb there appears a tiny green shoot. A little Babe is born of poor parents in humble surroundings and the God of Contradiction came into the world. All that man had ever conceived with regard to the coming of the messiah was in direct opposition to the reality of God's extraordinary plan to redeem, ransom and free man from a quite different form of slavery - the slavery of sin.
The Spirit that rested on You at Your baptism in the river Jordan is the very same Spirit that You, the Beloved Son, the Chosen One gives to Your disciples and Your followers, Your Namesakes - Christians. It is from this same Holy Spirit that we receive the gifts and the fruits to enable us to go out into the world and preach the Good News by the day to day witness we give in our normal day to day living.
The mission of Jesus is the mission of the Church and the mission of each one of her members. If we are called sons and daughters of the Father through adoption by baptism, if we have died with Christ and have risen in Him, then we have to be like Him. The same Spirit that is His is ours as well. The same authority and power that was His has been handed down to us. We are not helpless and powerless although we may act like it due to fear. Often, we are too spineless to take God at His Word and step out boldly in the faith that God so readily blesses us with. If we are powerless and ineffective, it is because we have not placed our full confidence and trust in Him. God challenges us to be all that He is through the power of the Holy Spirit who is His perfect and most powerful Gift to us.
It is amazing what God in Christ Jesus calls His Church and His people to do. Verses 18-19 spells it out clearly,
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me. He has anointed me to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives and new sight to the blind; to free the oppressed 19 and announce the Lord’s year of mercy.”
The only fear that God's people must ascribe to is the holy and wholesome fear of the Lord which is the beginning of wisdom as Proverbs 9:10 and Psalm 111:10 tell us.