Summary: Why has God placed us on this earth? Are we responsible for what is happening around in this world? How can i help in fulfilling God's mission?
The Former Secretary of the United States and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice once told graduates of the Mississippi College School of Law in Jackson that they have a responsibility to be "optimistic" in their lives. "I first learned this lesson from hearing stories about my paternal grandfather," she said. "Grandfather Rice was a poor farmer's son in Eutaw, Alabama. One day, he decided to get book-learning. So he asked, in the language of the day, where a colored man could go to school. "They said that a little Presbyterian school, Stillman College, was only about 50 miles away. So he saved up his cotton to pay for the first year's tuition. After the first year, he ran out of cotton and he needed a way to pay. My grandfather asked the school administrators how those other boys were staying in school, and he was told that they had what was called a scholarship.
"They said, 'If you want to be a Presbyterian minister, you could have a scholarship, too.' My grandfather said, 'That's just what I had in mind.'"
The moral of the story, she said: "In America, it is not about where you are coming from, but where you are going."
Most of the times in our life we are more interested in making others know where we are coming from rather than what we have come here to do. We love to boast about our traditions and our family background. Jesus is in the Church reading out or sharing the word of God and he is more focused on what he is sent to do and what he wants to do rather than just say he is the Son of God. This Sunday our Church celebrates as Mission Sunday and has given a fitting theme Gospel: Good News to All. Jesus in this passage shows how one can be a good news to others.
It may be an overstatement to call Luke 4:16-21 the proclamation of the Social Gospel, but it certainly reads like a social manifesto. If it is not a full-blown vision of a new society, it is something well on the way to that. It is an expression by a young man, in physical and spiritual prime, of his dreams for humanity.
In the verses that Jesus selected to read from the Hebrew scriptures -- and which he applied to himself and his mission -- four societal groups are singled out as objects of God’s intention: the poor, the captives, the blind, and the oppressed. What do we know or how much do we know of such folk in our own time and culture? Some way or the other we all fall under these four categories and what Jesus is asking us to do is to shoulder each other’s pain and anguish.
1. I Am Responsible For The Plight Of My Society.
We love to complain upon the things that people in authority forgot to do. But if we look at our own life have we been responsible enough in our daily life. Jesus says there should only be one motive and that is to be of help to somebody else. If all in the world think that way we all would start sharing and the world would be a better place to live in.
An illustration which opens our eyes to the fact that we are responsible in one way or the other for what is happening in the society. The only difference is that the degree in which we are responsible might vary.
Illus: One night in 1935, Mayor LaGuardia of New York, went to night court in the poorest ward of the city. On this particular occasion, LaGuardia dismissed the judge for the evening and took over the bench himself. One case involved an elderly woman who was caught stealing bread to feed her grandchildren.
LaGuardia said after she pleaded guilty to the crime, "I have to punish you. Ten dollars or ten days in jail." It was obvious she couldn’t pay. As the Judge spoke, he threw $10 into his hat.
He then fined everyone in the courtroom 50 cents for living in a city "where a person has to steal bread so that her grandchildren can eat." The hat was passed around, and the woman left the courtroom with her fine paid and an additional $47.50 in her purse. Solely out of the goodness of his heart, the Mayor of New York helped this women who couldn’t help herself. He gave her the opportunity to pay her debts and start all over.
If there are children begging in front of my house I believe I am responsible. We stock everything for ourselves and for our family. Are we ready to share the knowledge we have received? Are we ready to share the goodness we have received? Are we ready to share the resources we have received?