Gospel Reflection the Third Sunday Ordinary Time Year C – January 24th 2016
Seeing that many others have undertaken to draw up accounts of the events that have taken place among us, exactly as these were handed down to us by those who from the outset were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word, I in my turn, after carefully going over the whole story from the beginning, have decided to write an ordered account for you, Theophilus, so that your Excellency may learn how well founded the teaching is that you have received.
Jesus, with the power of the Spirit in him, returned to Galilee; and his reputation spread throughout the countryside. He taught in their synagogues and everyone praised him.
He came to Nazara, where he had been brought up, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day as he usually did. He stood up to read and they handed him the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Unrolling the scroll he found the place where it is written:
The spirit of the Lord has been given to me, for he has anointed me.
He has sent me to bring the good news to the poor,
to proclaim liberty to captives and to the blind new sight,
to set the downtrodden free,
to proclaim the Lord’s year of favour
He then rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the assistant and sat down. And all eyes in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to speak to them, ‘This text is being fulfilled today even as you listen’
Luke 1:1-4; 4:14-21
Jesus’ words today, at the Beginning of his ministry are something like a priest’s sermon at his first Mass – on a theme or themes really important to the priest. He knows he is appointed and chosen by God.
Jesus’ in this sermon presents his mission statement:
- He is anointed by the Spirit of the Lord.
- He cares for the poor and those who are looked down upon.
- And that the Lord is always loving, by proclaiming the ‘year of the Lord’s favour.
Learnt at Home
We can remember also that he learnt all that at home from Mary and Joseph. He would spend his life fulfilling his mission statement.
The word must become active and fulfilled – not just letters on paper, but energy in the heart, to proclaim and live out the love of God. This will be his life.
Like oil seals in the flavour of food or sealing wax on a letter meant that nobody could open it, the love of God is sealed in, and nothing you or I can do can block that again. The secret of happiness – to know I am loved. This was sealed into the heart of Jesus and is still there in the love of his heart.
This love will be spread by his followers, and in our second reading we are invited simply to recognise our own gifts and offer these to God. In Catholic Schools Week, which takes place from next Sumday, we gratefully greet the teachers of our young people, and particularly our religion teachers and chaplains who are among the most important ones today for handing on the faith.
Donal Neary SJ
Fr Donal Neary SJ is editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger