The message: The Year of the Lord’s favor is the year of deliverance of His people. Historically, the year of favor is given by God in response to the years of affliction that He inflicted on the children of Israel when they were taken captive by the Assyrians, and they lamented to God (2 Kings 18:11). And Israel did not prosper in their works, for the hand of God was no more with them, nor blessed them, nor protected them from their enemies, but rather chastened and beat them, because they had forsaken Him, the Rock of their salvation, and exchanged Him for false gods (Ez 39:23). Thus, it happened to them in accordance with the words which God had spoken: « The Lord will send upon you disaster, panic, and frustration in everything you attempt to do, until you are destroyed and perish quickly, on account of the evil of your deeds, because you have forsaken me » Deut 28:20. So, the year of favor is a year when God shows mercy to us, His people, by forgiving our sins, and comforting us by saying: « Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that she has served her term, that her penalty is paid, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins » Isa 40:1-2. To this end, He sent the Messiah to bring redemption for us, as He said: « The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn » Isa 61:1-2. The year of the Lord’s favor is a year of blessing during which God brings forth a new sun of life, a year in which His glory will be exalted amidst His people. This is the mission He entrusted to the Messiah, in order to fulfill His promise that says: « But for you who fear my name, the sun of justice will arise with healing in its wing » Mal 4:2a,b (NABRE).
Monday, 10th: The Messenger proclaims the year of the Lord’s favor.
« Proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor » Isa 61:2a.
Reading 1: Mt 1:18-25. Reading 2: Isa 61:1-3. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Isa 61:1a,2a.
Introduction: The year of the Lord’s favor is the year of His coming to bring redemption to His people, namely, the forgiveness of their sins and their reconciliation with God their Lord. Along with it comes the renewal of their lives, according to His words: « See, I am making all things new » Rev 21:5a. He is giving a new year, and the old things will pass away and the years of affliction will cease.
Tuesday, 11th: Jesus, proclamation of the year of the Lord’s favor to the human.
« And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor« Lk 2:52.
Reading 1: Isa 11:1-5. Reading 2: Lk 2:42-52. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Lk 2:52.
Introduction: Since His childhood, Jesus had been a source of grace to all who came in contact with Him, namely those who listened to Him and who were amazed at the words and knowledge that came out of His mouth. « All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: ‘Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,’ which means, ‘God is with us’ » Mt 1:22-23.
Wednesday, 12th: The year of the Lord’s favor, the year that proclaims peace.
« How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace« Isa 52:7a.
Reading 1: Jn 20:18-23. Reading 2: Isa 52:1-9. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Isa 52:7.
Introduction: The promise entrusted to the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: « For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope » Jer 29:11. For at the Messiah’s arrival, a multitude of angels shouted: « Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors! » Lk 2:14.
Thursday, 13th: The year of the Lord’s favor, the year of God’s reward.
« Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world« Mt 25:34.
Readingy 1: Mal 3:16-18. Reading 2: Mt 25:31-34. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Mt 25:34.
Introduction: The year of the Lord’s favor, the year when God pays back, is a blessing to those who believe and serve Him. For the Lord said, « See, I am coming soon; my reward is with me, to repay according to everyone’s work » Rev 22: 12. « But for you who fear my name, the sun of justice will arise with healing in its wings; and you will go out leaping like calves from the stall » Mal 4:2a,b (NABRE).
Friday, 14th: The year of the Lord’s favor, the year of renewal of self-dedication to God.
« Present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship« Rom 12:1.
Reading 1: Ps 110:1-4. Reading 2: Rom 12:1-5. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Rom 12:1.
Introduction: The year of the Lord’s favor is the age when God comes among the humans. Blessed are those whom He finds faithful and abiding in the ministry for which He has appointed them. For Jesus said: « Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes; truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt and have them sit down to eat, and he will come and serve them. If he comes during the middle of the night, or near dawn, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves » Lk 12:37-38.
Saturday, 15th: The year of the Lord’s favor, God dwelling among the humans.
« I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me« Rev 3:20.
Reading 1: Jn 14:18-23. Reading 2: Rev 3:14-20. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Rev 3:20.
Introduction: The year of His favor is the year of God’s reconciliation with humans and the renewal of His covenant. Therefore He will not be a temporary guest but a member of the household dwelling among His people, and His people will be indeed His children. For He said: « I will be your father, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty » 2 Cor 6:18. Jesus also said: « The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there forever » Jn 8:35.
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