“He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives…” – Luke 4:18

“I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!” I glanced at the audience to acknowledge their applause. I took a bow and left the stage.
I joined elocution contests in grade school. I won a lot of them. But not this one. The judges said I did not deliver the piece with much conviction. Can you blame me? I was a Grade 4 student then. The word liberty didn’t mean anything to me at all. At that time, the only liberty I knew was condensed milk. “Give me liberty or give me death” is a famous quotation from a speech made by Patrick Henry in 1775 to the Virginia House of Burgesses that convinced them to pass a resolution delivering the Virginia troops to the war.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus bringing liberty to captives means more than just physical freedom; He has come to set our spirits free. He assures us that through Him, we have been empowered to break free from the clutches of sin and death. This makes us all victors rather than victims. We are captives no more! “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36). Le t us celebrate our freedom. Randy Borromeo

What are the areas of my life that are still in bondage to sin?

Lord, thank You for freedom. Thank You for setting us free. Thank You for the promise of a year of favor from You. Amen.

Mary anoints the feet of Jesus. This is a rather unusual act as anointings are usually done to the head. Perhaps we have a symbol here of the humility of Jesus? Perhaps Mary is harking back to the text of Isaiah that speaks of the beauty of the feet of those who bring good news? As we reflect upon Mary’s act, let us ask God to reveal to us its significance for our lives.

John 12:1-11
1 Six days before Passover Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 They gave a dinner for him there, and Martha served, while Lazarus was one of those reclining at table with him. 3 Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil made from genuine aromatic nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair; the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. 4 Then Judas the Iscariot, one [of] his disciples, and the one who would betray him, said, 5 “Why was this oil not sold for three hundred days’ wages and given to the poor?” 6 He said this not because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief and held the money bag and used to steal the contributions. 7 So Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Let her keep this for the day of my burial. 8 You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.” 9 [The] large crowd of the Jews found out that he was there and came, not only because of Jesus, but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10 And the chief priests plotted to kill Lazarus too, 11 because many of the Jews were turning away and believing in Jesus because of him.

my reflections
think:Do we serve selflessly or with self-interest?


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