Download: Jubilee, catechesis and reflection
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.” Luke 4:18-19
Our Year of Favor!
This year, 2019, we, Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word of San Antonio, Texas, celebrate the one-hundred-fiftieth anniversary of our foundation. Following Biblical tradition and the example of Jesus, we proclaim this a year of jubilee, a year of God’s “favor”!
We first hear about such a year of “jubilee” in Leviticus 25, and in Isaiah 61:2. In Luke 4:19 Jesus makes a clear connection between the jubilee tradition of His people and His own mission. Standing in his hometown synagogue in Nazareth, Jesus read from Isaiah 61: “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 recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18–19). This was His mission statement!
As women whose avowed ongoing Congregational mission is to “actualize the saving and healing love of the Incarnate Word by promoting human dignity” (Constitutions Art. 3) we are called to a daunting task at all times. This call is especially strong for us during this jubilee year!
In 2019 we continue to address the tasks set by Jesus for Himself and His followers at Nazareth. We commit ourselves to bring good news to the poor; to proclaim liberty to captives; to help all who suffer blindness of any kind recover their sight; to set the downtrodden free. We commit ourselves to promote human dignity in every way possible. In short, we commit to continue the mission of Jesus in this world of today!
A daunting task during this jubilee year? Absolutely! And a task we will be faithful to only if, as Jesus did, we live in one key truth. We must live our belief that “The Spirit of the Lord has been given to us and has anointed us.” It is that Spirit that sends us forth.” It is God’s work, not ours! And it is this work of the Spirit we celebrate in this jubilee year.
“It shall be a jubilee for you and the ram’s horn blast shall resound throughout your land” (Leviticus 25).
Questions for Reflection
Our Constitutions call us to “actualize the saving and healing love of the Incarnate Word by promoting human dignity.” Our General Chapter of 2018 specifically committed us to collaborate “with those who network for justice, peace, and the care of creation, and to align ourselves with poor and vulnerable persons.” How can our call to continue to fulfill the Mission of Jesus come alive with hope and joy during this jubilee year?
A year of jubilee is a year of remembrance, both personal and Congregational. Which memories of living our Mission and Charism together call us to a celebration of what has been, and also give us renewed vision and energy for the challenges of the future?
By Sr. Brigid Marie Clarke
Artwork: “She Blew the Shofar”, by Lynn Feldman.