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Set All Captives Free

A woman bows as she enters an early morning Church service in war-torn Central African Republic. Photo by Sam Phelps for CRS

A woman bows as she enters early morning Mass in war-torn Central African Republic. Photo by Sam Phelps for CRS

Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news of him spread throughout the whole region. He taught in their synagogues and was praised by all. He came to Nazareth, where he had grown up, and went according to his custom into the synagogue on the sabbath day. He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written:

    "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
        because he has anointed me
        to bring glad tidings to the poor.
    He has sent me to proclaim liberty to
          captives
        and recovery of sight to the blind,
    to let the oppressed go free,
        and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord."

Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down, and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him. He said to them, "Today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing."

— Luke 4:14–21

Lord, who came to set captives free,

We have come to know that our hearts are never truly free
    until they rest in you.
And in our love for you,
    our hearts cry out for our brothers and sisters;
And we turn these cries to you.
Send your grace to those who long for freedom every day.
And so we pray ... set all captives free.

From the anguish of hunger ...
   v Set all captives free.

From crippling poverty ...
   v Set all captives free.

From the dark of ignorance ...
   v Set all captives free.

From unjust discrimination ...
   v Set all captives free.

From slavery and human trafficking ...
   v Set all captives free.

From fear and danger ...
   v Set all captives free.

From oppression and persecution ...
   v Set all captives free.

From the cruelty of exploitation ...
   v Set all captives free.

From the torment of hate ...
   v Set all captives free.

From the dark of sin ...
   v Set all captives free.

We praise the Lord of all freedoms
And in our praise, let us bang no drum,
    sound no horn,
    sing no hymn,
Without remembering those whose lives are still lived in chains.

For these ones,
For ourselves,
Through your resounding words of liberty,
Through the grace of the Holy Spirit,
And through the hands of the servants who call on you now,
We pray ...
   v Set all captives free.

Amen



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