Homily of the Apostolic Nuncio, Chapel of the Apostolic Nunciature, Thursday 9 January 2020

Gospel: Mark 6:45-52

Animated by the Spirit, Jesus returns toward Galilee and begins to announce the Good News of the Kingdom of God. He reaches Nazareth where He grew up. The following Saturday, according to His custom, He went to the synagogue. He chooses a text from Isaiah which speaks about the poor, of prisoners, of the blind and the oppressed.

The text reflects the situation of the people of Galilee in the time of Jesus. In the name of God, Jesus takes a stand to defend the life of His people, and with the words of Isaiah, He defines His mission: to proclaim the Good News to the marginalized, to the excluded, going back to the ancient tradition of the prophets.

Jesus proclaims “a year of grace of the Lord”, because he wants to reconstruct the community in such a way that once again it may be the expression of their faith in God! To defend the community, was the same as defending the Covenant with God. The official religion maintained by the religious authorities of the time, instead of strengthening the community in a way in which it could receive and accept the excluded, strengthened this segregation even more.

After finishing the reading, Jesus updated the text applying it to the life of the people, saying, “Today, this reading, which you have heard with your own ears, has been fulfilled!”. Some were scandalized and wanted to have nothing more to do with Him. They did not accept His proposal. And thus, when He presented His project to accept the excluded, He Himself was excluded!