“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 recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.” — Luke 4:18
Does that sound like current political rhetoric? No, it’s radically different. Jesus was not a member of the Chamber of Commerce, nor would he have been at home in either political party. He loved everyone and wanted us to do the same. He had a special place in his heart for the poor and disenfranchised. His message is and was active and provocative. He ate with tax collectors, sinners of all kinds including prostitutes and nowhere in any Gospel does he demonize anyone even the Romans who murdered Jews for blood-sport during his lifetime on earth. The quote at the beginning of this reflection is recorded in Luke’s Gospel at the beginning of his ministry. I don’t know when he actually said it, but more importantly he proclaimed it with his life and even to the point of death on the cross. Jesus was about radical mercy and forgiveness. That’s a trait we need more of not less. The historical Jesus was a Jew, but the transcendent Jesus is neither Jew, Christian, Muslim, slave or free. The mystical Jesus lives in our hearts and his message is beyond dogma. He is the Lamb of G-d who takes away the sin of the world. You don’t have to decide for Jesus. It’s already been decided. He is the alpha and the omega.