In my homily last week, I said that even though we cannot perform miracles like Jesus, God gave each one of us talents. These talents are intended to be used to benefit the community – to help the needy and uplift lives – in much the same was as Jesus used his powers to bring joy and peace to others. This Sunday’s gospel continues this theme of the imitation of Christ, to do what He did and to be what He was every day and in every way.

The gospel tells of Jesus going into the synagogue and reading a passage from the prophet Isaiah. Though His listeners did not realise it, Jesus was reading about Himself. He read that He was sent to bring good news to the poor, offer liberty to the captives, give sight to the blind and set the downtrodden free. All these things we are also called to do as followers of Christ. No, we don’t have the powers that Jesus has, but we still have the power to make a difference, the power to ease someone’s suffering and the power to bring joy where unhappiness exists.

At the same time, Jesus wants us to look at ourselves. In what ways do we allow ourselves to be prisoners? Do we allow ourselves to be controlled by selfish desires and addiction to the extent that nothing else matters? Similarly, do we allow ourselves to be blinded by worldly things so that we fail to see the plight of our neighbours? This Sunday, let us resolve to break free from the chains of selfishness so that, like Jesus, we can be free to bring the good news to the poor.

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