Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Proclaiming the Year of Jubilee

Jubilee is a  joy-filled word which gives us reasons for jubilation. The Old Testament Jubilee was celebrated after the seventh sabbath year, the 50th year. Everything would return to the situation  at the start of the 50 years: land restored, debts forgiven, slaves freed, even  the land was not cultivated and all would be free to eat of the fruits of the land--a new beginning for all.

Bible & Life magazine has three articles on the Jubilee giving us an understanding of that legislation that most authorities say was never really completely practiced; not difficult to see why, the wealthy would have had great difficulty in giving up what they had earned. Avarice and selfishness is part of our DNA; the Jubilee for the most part remained a  dream an ideal. However, at the beginning of  Our  Lord's public life this Jubilee was a part of his blue print as expressed in Luke 4:19.

It's a dream we have as Christians. We can see the similarity of the Jubilee Year to God's kingdom that we all entered at baptism with our decision to imitate Jesus in loving, forgiving  and showing mercy: a way of life  we decided to live. We have been bathed in this light and our work is to have all enter the community of humanity, leaving  no one on the  peripheries.

 Looking over the creation story and the way it has developed despite the teaching received can leave one with a feeling of despair. However, seeing it with the eyes of faith and going beyond the history of sin we can see the hand of God.

One of the articles  shows how we sometimes look at the Scripture as only a written account of the past and fail to see it as a blue print for the future. Looking over the history of the past there is much sadness and suffering but the message of glad tidings (Gospel) is  always present to stimulate and inspire us.

Pope Francis has asked us not to remain in our own communities but to go out into the streets of the world. This is our work to proclaim the Jubilee to all the nations of the world.

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