1.Nehemia 8:2-6,8-10
2.1Corinthians 12:12-30

"Walking in the same direction”
There is a story told about God calling the three most popular presidents for a meeting: President coming from Russia, U.S.A and  the president from Cuba. God told them one thing: " The world world will end by the year 2000." The three presidents went to their respective countries and told their people about their conversation with God and what He told them. The Russian president  said: " 

My dear people, I have two things to give, all of them are bad news. First, there is God and the second thing is that the world will end by the year 2000."

The U.S.A president also said to the American: " My dear people, I have two things to give, one is good news and the other is bad news. The good news is that there is God while the bad news is the that the world will end by the year 2000."

Then it was the turn of the president of Cuba to speak to his citizens. He said: " My dear people I have three things to give, all of them are good news. First, there is God. Second, he talked to your president. And the third is,  the world will end by the year 2000 and all our problems are over." What can you say?

Jesus in our today's gospel went back to His hometown  and he was received well, for He had acquired a reputation. His town mates were impressed about His talent. Since it was a day of Rest, he went to synagogue as customary and he was given the role to read the second reading which was taken from the book of prophet Isaiah. Jesus assumed His prophetic role and announces His mission with great clarity: He is anointed to bring good news to the poor. It is not a personal decision but a mission given to Him by the Father.

However, Jesus has given the same mission , which He started, to each one of us. It is our task that we shall continue this mission until the end of the World or until He will come again to judge the living and the dead. What is this mission? Pope John Paul II in his apostolic exhortation on " The role of the Christian Family in the Modern World." The Pope enumerates the four general tasks of  the family. Since all of us are members of a family, hence, these are our tasks and mission too.
First is forming a community persons. The family which is founded and given life by love, is a community of persons: Husbands and wives, of parents and children, of relatives. Its first task is to live love and fidelity.

From the second reading according to St. Paul to the Corinthians we hear that the Church is formed by many individuals into a living unity in Christ. Thus all members of the family, each according to his/her own gift, have the grace and responsibility of building, day by day, the communion of persons.

Second is Serving Life. The fundamental task of the family is to serve life, to materialize in history the original blessing of the Creator- that of transforming by procreation the divine image from person to person. Fruitful marriage love expresses itself in serving life in many ways of these ways, begetting and educating of children are the most immediate, specific and irreplaceable

Third is participating in the development of Society. The social role of the family cannot stop at procreation and education of children, even if this constitutes its primary and irreplaceable form of expression.

Fourth is sharing in the Life and Mission of the Church. The family not only receives the love of Christ's love  to their brothers and sisters, thus becoming a saving community. Christian families offer a special contribution  to the missionary cause of the Church by fostering missionary vocations among their sons and daughters, more generally, by training  their children from childhood to recognize God's love for all people." The Christian family  welcomes, respects and serves every human being, considering each one in his /her dignity as a person and as child of God.

Having heard these four great tasks and mission, just as Jesus is good news because people came to Him. Let us make ourselves good news too so that others may become closer to God.
God's spirit is in Jesus, sending him to the poor, directing his whole life toward those most in need, most oppressed, most humiliated. We His followers need to work in the same direction. This is orientation that God, incarnate in Jesus, wants to impress on human history. The last should be the first in knowing a life that is more worthy, more free, more happy, the life that God want for all God's sons and daughters from now on.

We must never forget that the << option for the poor>> isn't  something invented by the twentieth century theologians, nor is it something fashionable starting at Vatican II, rather it is the option of God's spirit that breathes through Jesus' whole life and that we his followers need to introduce into human history. Paul VI said: " It is the duty of the church to help liberation to be born.... and make it complete"

Lastly, it is not possible to live and announce Jesus Christ if we don't do it from the defense of the least and in solidarity with those who are excluded.

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Chapisha Maoni