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Thursday, January 8, 1998

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1 John 4:19—5:4
Psalm 72
Luke 4:14-22

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the spirit's jubilee-freedom

"Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing." —Luke 4:21

Jesus prophesied: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me; therefore He has anointed Me. He has sent Me to bring glad tidings to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives, recovery of sight to the blind and release to prisoners, to announce a year of favor from the Lord" (Lk 4:18-19). This "year of favor" is the Jubilee Year, which occurred every fifty years (see Lv 25:10ff). However, Jesus promised the good news of great freedom each year, and Pope John Paul II has proclaimed that the year 2000 will be the greatest of all Jubilee Years (see Toward the Third Millennium, 16).

1998 is the year of the Holy Spirit in preparation for the Great Jubilee in the year 2000. As the Holy Spirit came upon Jesus and anointed Him to set the captives free, so we need the Holy Spirit to be stirred into flame in our lives (2 Tm 1:6-7). Sunday, we celebrate the Baptism of Jesus, the last day of the Christmas season. As the Spirit descended upon Jesus at His baptism in the river Jordan, so the Spirit will come to us in new and deeper ways. End this Christmas season by receiving the power of the Spirit to give jubilee-freedom to an enslaved and enslaving world. Come, Holy Spirit! Come, true Christmas Spirit!

Prayer:  Father, may I have more than Christmas parties. May I celebrate jubilee years and a jubilee life forever with You.

Promise:  "We, for our part, love because He first loved us." —1 Jn 4:19

Praise:  Jesus set Charles free from addiction to crack cocaine.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, June 1, 1997

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 9, 1997