Holy Thursday Chrism (April 18): "Jesus was anointed and empowered by the Spirit to preach good news"
Gospel reading: Luke 4:16-21 (alternate reading for Holy Thursday: John 13:1-15)16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up; and he went to the synagogue, as his custom was, on the Sabbath day. And he stood up to read; 17 and there was given to him the book of the prophet Isaiah. He opened the book and found the place where it was written, 18 "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19 to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord." 20 And he closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant, and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 Then he began to say to them, "Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing." 22 All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They said, "Is not this Joseph's son?"
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord" (Isaiah 61:1-2).
Isaiah had prophesied that the Messiah would be sent by God and
anointed in the power of the Holy Spirit to preach "good news" and
bring healing, blessing, and freedom to all who were oppressed
(see Isaiah 61:1-2). Jesus awakened their hope in God's promises
when he announced that this word was now being fulfilled in his
very own person. Luke tells us that the people of Nazareth spoke
well of him and received his "gracious word" with amazement and
wonder. But they also openly questioned how the "son of Joseph"
would fulfill this Messianic mission (Luke 4:21). Jesus challenged
them to believe the word God had spoken through the prophets and
the word he now speaks in God's name through the power of the Holy
"Lord Jesus, you are the fulfillment of all our hopes and dreams.
Through the gift of your Holy Spirit you bring us truth, freedom,
and abundant life. Fill me with the joy of the Gospel and inflame
my heart with a burning love for you and a deep thirst for your
8 the precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD
is pure, enlightening the eyes;
9 the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever; the ordinances of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.
14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.
Daily Quote from the early church fathers: Jesus fulfills the Messianic prophecy of Isaiah 61, by Cyril of Alexandria (376-444 AD)"Now it was necessary that he should manifest himself to the Israelites and that the mystery of his incarnation should now shine forth to those who did not know him. Now that God the Father had anointed him to save the world, he very wisely orders this also [that his fame should now spread widely]. This favor he grants first to the people of Nazareth, because, humanly speaking, he had grown up among them. Having entered the synagogue, therefore, he takes the book to read. Having opened it, he selects a passage in the Prophets which declares the mystery concerning him. By these words he himself tells us very clearly by the voice of the prophet that he would both be made man and come to save the world. For we affirm that the Son was anointed in no other way than by having become like us according to the flesh and taking our nature. Being at once God and man, he both gives the Spirit to the creation in his divine nature and receives it from God the Father in his human nature. It is he who sanctifies the whole creation, both by shining forth from the Holy Father and by bestowing the Spirit. He himself pours forth his own Spirit on the powers above and on those who recognized his appearing." (excerpt from COMMENTARY ON LUKE, HOMILY 12)
Scripture quotations from Common Bible:
Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright
1973, and Ignatius Edition of the Revised Standard
Version of the Bible, copyright 2006, by the
Division of Christian Education of the National
Council of the Churches of Christ in the United
States of America. Used by permission. All rights
reserved. Citation references for quotes from
the writings of the early church fathers can be
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