Luke 4, 21 – 30
21 Then Jesus began to speak to them, ‘This text is being fulfilled today even while you are listening.’
22 And he won the approval of all, and they were astonished by the gracious words that came from his lips. They said, ‘This is Joseph’s son, surely?’
23 But he replied, ‘No doubt you will quote me the saying, “Physician, heal yourself,” and tell me, “We have heard all that happened in Capernaum, do the same here in your own country.”
24 And he went on, ‘In truth I tell you, no prophet is ever accepted in his own country.
25 ‘There were many widows in Israel, I can assure you, in Elijah‘s day, when heaven remained shut for three years and six months and a great famine raged throughout the land,
26 but Elijah was not sent to any one of these: he was sent to a widow at Zarephath, a town in Sidonia.
27 And in the prophet Elisha’s time there were many suffering from virulent skin-diseases in Israel, but none of these was cured — only Naaman the Syrian.’ …
New Jerusalem Bible
In 1980 I was commissioned to paint a large picture on Jesus the Teacher, which is now in the Ecumenical Centre in Whitefield, Bangalore.
The idea of this painting was to show that the essential teaching of the Guru Jesus is about compassion.
He represents the Burning Bush, which Moses saw in the desert, and which when he approached it, asked him to remove his shoes as the ground was holy. Then a voice from the fire said: “I am who am: YHWH. I have seen the suffering of my people!” This was the central revelation of the One who is beyond any name, as the name YHWH cannot be pronounced, as it has no vowels revealed to us. So the Jewish people referred to this Lord as Adonai, the Holy One of Israel.
But still, this mysterious “I AM” whose word resounds in the Universe, is also an eye, that sees the suffering of human beings, and other creatures.
This eye is also the Third Eye, and is an eye which sheds a tear, in which human beings are born.
I painted this image soon after the notorious ‘Bagalpur Blindings’, which shocked the nation. At that time Dalits in Bihar were blinded, and this cruel act revealed a blindness in the whole social system that allowed such a thing to happen.
The Compassionate Teacher is concerned about blindness, and the human need to be awakened, and see the reality. This theme of vision as opposed to blindness is I feel the basis for an art which emerges out of compassion. Jyoti Sahi
Luk 4, 16 – 27 > CCC 904 – 907
I believe in the Holy Spirit … the Holy Catholic Church
Lay Participation in Christ’s Prophetic Office
904 As witness and teacher with sense of faith.–“Christ . . . fulfills this prophetic office, not only by the hierarchy . . . but also by the laity. He accordingly both establishes them as witnesses and provides them with the sense of the faith — sensus fidei — and the grace of the word:”
To teach in order to lead others to faith is the task of every preacher and of each believer.
905 As evangelisers in word and witness of life … in the world.–Lay people also fulfill their prophetic mission by evangelization, “that is, the proclamation of Christ by word and the testimony of life.” For lay people, “this evangelization … acquires a specific property and peculiar efficacy because it is accomplished in the ordinary circumstances of the world.”
This witness of life, however, is not the sole element in the apostolate; the true apostle is on the lookout for occasions of announcing Christ by word, either to unbelievers … or to the faithful.
906 As catechists, theologians, and media specialists.—Lay people who are capable and trained may also collaborate in catechetical formation, in teaching the sacred sciences, and in use of the communications media.
907 As consultors in their right and duty for the good of the Church.— “In accord with the knowledge, competence, and preeminence which they possess, lay people have the right and even at times a duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church, and they have a right to make their opinion known to the other Christian faithful, with due regard to the integrity of faith and morals and reverence toward their pastors, and with consideration for the common good and the dignity of persons.”
Catechism of the Catholic Church Revised Ed. Burns & Oates, 1999, 2006.
Be Not Afraid
Vatican II in articles 31 and 35 of its Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen gentium (Latin for light of humanity) understands the lay faithful by baptism to be incorporated into Christ and integrated into God’s People.
They are commissioned by Christ to partake in the prophetic — and also priestly and kingly — office of Christ in the mission of all Christ’s faithful in the Church and in the world.
In view of this Sunday liturgy and the CCC articles cited
what changes in attitudes and roles are called for
among ordained ministers and religious
toward the laity and
among the lay faithful themselves
to realise this vision?