First Wednesday of Advent – 12.6 | Luke 4:16-21


“When [Jesus] came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,

because he has anointed me

to bring good news to the poor.

He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives

and recovery of sight to the blind,

to let the oppressed go free,

to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”



What would sound like good news to the poor? 

A promise of safety and security?

Freedom from oppression? 

Being accepted regardless of status?

Knowing that you are actually seen and loved? 

In today’s reading, Jesus quotes a vision from the prophet Isaiah. This prophecy envisioned abundance and peace that the people of Israel had been waiting and hoping for in the midst of oppression and exile. They would be set free by someone upon whom the “Spirit of the Lord” rested. When Jesus claims that the vision has been fulfilled in their hearing, he is declaring he’s the one who will set them free. 

In the ancient Jewish world where religion, society and politics were intertwined, one’s relationship to God was the most important thing about that person. Jesus’ good news to the poor meant that God sees them, God knows them, and God accepts them as they are. God would meet them in their needs, but God wouldn’t leave them there!

The hopeful message of Advent is that Jesus comes into our world to proclaim good news to us in our material, emotional, and spiritual longings. And that good news is as essential today as it was 2000 years ago:

God sees you. God knows you. God accepts you.  This is the hope of Emmanuel: “God with us.”


  • What part of this gospel message strikes you as good news today?


  • How do you experience the different forms of lack/poverty (ie.material, emotional, spiritual)?


  • How do you feel when you read that God sees, knows, and accepts you as you are?