Today happens only once. Today is not the same as yesterday or tomorrow. In the Gospel of Luke Jesus says, “Today, this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing (Luke 4:21).” The Scripture passage that was fulfilled on the day that Jesus spoke was, “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” (Luke 4:18-19).
For disciples of Jesus, his words spoken on that day mean that there is something about today to always keep in mind. Today we are baptized people. Today we are, as Paul says, “the Body of Christ” (I Corinthians 12:12-20). Today, we too can say the Spirit of the Lord is upon us because through our baptism he has anointed us.
As those baptized and anointed, today holds possibilities. Today, somebody can be given the glad tidings of knowing that we will stand with them in their suffering. Today, someone who is imprisoned by guilt can be set free by our reminder that God’s forgiving love is always there. Today, a person who is a captive of prejudice can be released by the care we take with our own attitudes toward others. Today,those incarcerated by economic injustice can be liberated by our support of policies that support a more equal distribution of the world’s goods. Today, those held captive by oppressive governments can be freed by our actions that support human rights and respect for the dignity of the human person. Today, those blinded by confusion and doubt can be given sight by our reassurance that questions are alright, that life does have meaning and that we understand their moments of confusion because we know our own.
What is today? Today,as it always is for those baptized and anointed with God’s Spirit, is a day of hope, of possibility, of promise. Today, the measure to which we truly believe that is the measure to which this hope and promise will be fulfilled in our hearing.
Together in faith,
Very Reverend Christopher Smith, rector