At a time when many people were taking down their decorations and throwing their Christmas tree to the curb, Catholics continued to celebrate Christmas, which began on Christmas Eve and ended on the Sunday celebrating the Baptism of the Lord. Sometimes, depending on dates and various customs, the Epiphany (the Feast of the Three Kings) is the end of the Christmas Season.
Luke is the gospel that gives us some “Christmas-y” stories such as Angels and shepherds and the manger. Luke also shows us a Jesus who is very concerned with people of all needs. He is not just the Savior of all Israel; he is the promised Savior of all people.
If we listen attentively to Luke during Sunday Mass we will see a lot of things that parallel our modern day world. Mentioned are poverty, hunger and disease; occupying forces and cruel dictators. There are many refugees and migrants seeking a place that might bring safety and food for the children.
However, Luke is also full of joy as Jesus resolves these things. There are sixteen miracles in Luke out of a total of 37 in all of the Gospels. So, this is a year to look forward to better things and not look back at the difficulties of these past two years and all the problems facing our world.
As Jesus says in Luke: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4:18-19
Welcome to OUR year of favor!