Monday of the Twenty-second week in Ordinary Time
"They all looked intently at him"
“At Nazareth, on the Sabbath day, Jesus stood up to read. Unrolling the scroll he found the passage in Isaiah where it is written: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; he has anointed me’” (Is 61,1). It was not simply by chance but by an intervention of Divine Providence that Jesus unrolled this particular book and found the text of the chapter prophesying about himself. If it is written: “Not a sparrow falls into the snare without your Father’s will, the hairs of your head… are all numbered” (cf. Mt 10,29-30), could it be the result of a chance that the choice of the book of Isaiah… expressed the mystery of Christ?... Indeed, this text reminds Christ… For Jesus says: He has sent me to bring Good News to the poor”. Now “the poor” refer to the pagans. These were indeed poor, possessing absolutely nothing: neither God, nor the Law, nor prophets, nor righteousness, nor any other virtue. It was for this reason that God sent him as a messenger to the poor, to bring glad tidings, proclaim liberty to captives”… Is there anyone more oppressed and more wounded than man before he has been set free and healed by Jesus?...
…“Rolling up the scroll after he had read this, Jesus handed it to the attendant and sat down, and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him.” At this very moment, if you so desire… in our own congregation, you can gaze intently at the Lord. If you turn your gaze from the depths of your heart towards contemplation of Wisdom. Truth and the only-begotten Son of the God, then you are gazing intently at Jesus. Oh how blessed the gathering of which Scripture itself declares that “their eyes were fixed on him intently”! How I should love this congregation to receive a similar testimony! May everybody here, catechumens and faithful, women, men and children have… the eys of their hearts occupied in gazing at Jesus! When you gaze at him his light will make your faces more radiant and you will be able to say: “The light of your face, O Lord, has set its seal upon us” (Ps 4,7 LXX).
Origen (c.185-253), priest and theologian
Homilies on Saint Luke’s Gospel, no. 32, 3-6