The Amplification of the Proclamation

January 23, 2022

Sound resonates throughout our planet.  Those sounds can be very influential.  In the past decade the influence of music and how we connect with it has changed.  Music outlets have gone from vinyl to cassette to compact disc back to vinyl.  Different apps can organize playlists and young influencers use songs in their Tik Tok videos.  It is amazing how the outlets have changed, yet the need for sound and words remains a thirst in our very being.  Lyrics from certain songs allow for the doorway to be vast and wide for interpretation.  U2 can sing “let me in the sound,” while Simon and Garfunkel can invite us to the “sounds of silence.”  What a backdrop of contrast and paradox for us to hear and listen to Jesus in the synagogue and ask, “How do we hear this? “ Jesus will say this Scripture is fulfilled in our hearing.

All eyes are on Jesus as He takes the scroll and reads the words of Isaiah as they become a present-day proclamation.  He lets them know it is a year of favor; the blind will see, those imprisoned will find freedom and the poor will find happiness.  As all eyes rest on Him, He tells them and tells us, it is now fulfilled in their hearing.  How is this proclamation amplified in such a way that it caught everyone’s attention?  How can we give this passage the power it deserves?  All of us on different spiritual levels need new sight, need to be freed from what imprisons us and need to look at the poverty within us as good news.  All of us need to embrace this year, this day, this moment as an experience of favor from our God.  In the mess of the world our thirst has not changed, yet what we amplify defines us.  To amplify this message is to sit in the assembly with awe knowing fulfilment has just happened because Jesus has spoken these words to us today, new and alive.  How do we carry this power past the exit of the church building into the vehicle that brought us here?  We are defined by what we amplify.

I often imagine what it must have been like in that synagogue.  I often sit in an empty church or in an empty chapel to allow the sound of God’s proclamation to resonate again and again into the passage from my ears to my brain and from my brain to my heart.  The amplification of the proclamation happens when we thirst for the right sound.  We are invited today in this moment to let the sound of God be the loudest, the strongest and the one we truly hear.  Fulfillment will come in its hearing.

Fr. John