In the Gospel from the Mass (Luke 1:1-4; 4:14-21), Jesus demonstrates His great ability to communicate and enthrall a crowd.  An excerpt:

[16]  And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up; and he went to the synagogue, as his custom was, on the sabbath day. And he stood up to read;  [17] and there was given to him the book of the prophet Isaiah. He opened the book and found the place where it was written,  [18] “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, [19] to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” [20] And he closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant, and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him.  [21] And he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

To draw closer to Jesus, we need to put ourselves into the story of Salvation History and participate.  One way to do that is to reflect and dwell on the actions of our Lord, imaging we are part of the crowd. There is much here of which to be amazed.  Consider:

  • Jesus is bold, a mere carpenter’s son who has the gumption to stand up and read in the synagogoue.
  • He specifically goes to the part of Isaiah that refers to the anticipated Messiah; this great passage was well-known.  The people had longed for freedom from Roman domination, the release from massive debts that many had taken on to pay Roman/Temple taxes and for the return ancestral property to original family owners.  This is what every Jewish peasant for generations has been hoping for.
  • Jesus, lets the suspense build, the crowd enthralled and anxious, wondering, “Why is He reading that passage?”  All eyes are on Jesus; the intensity must have been very high.
  • Jesus sits down, the traditional posture of a rabbi.
  • After a very dramatic pause, Jesus offers the very cryptic and powerful proclamation : “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”   In speaking this way, Jesus is not only proclaiming that a 700 year-old prophecy is coming true, but that He is the Messiah.
  • One can imagine the absolute excitement and confusion with being confronted with the long awaited Messiah.

If something like this happened today, the video clip would quickly go viral, so great would be the reaction to this Man, saying that He is the Messiah.

While we don’t have a video, what we have is even better: The inerrant Word of God in the Gospels (CCC 101-108).

You can’t get greater communication than that!