Year C – 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time – Jan. 27, 2013 – Gospel Reflection

Nehemiah 8:2-4a, 5-6, 8-10, Psalm 19:8, 9, 10, 15 (R/. cf. John 6:63c), 1 Corinthians 12:12-30 or 12:12-14, 27, c.f. Luke 4:18, Luke 1:1-4; 4:14-21

A hush must have fallen in the synagogue when Jesus walked forward to do the reading.  This was his hometown; they all knew him.  What would he choose to read?  What would he say to them?  They had been hearing about what he was doing – preaching about the kingdom of God being close enough to touch, the crowds coming to listen to him, the healings, the casting out of evil spirits.  They were sitting on the edge of their seats.  He opened the scroll and went to the place in the book of the prophet Isaiah where an unknown speaker talks about being anointed by the Spirit of God and sent forth to do three things:  to preach Good News, to liberate people who were imprisoned in any way, and to give sight to the blind.  Then he looked at them and simply said:  All this is happening now!  The Isaiah reading continues to define the work of the Church:  preaching the gospel, working for justice that frees people from oppression, and reaching out in compassion to all.  The Holy Spirit is at work in and through us.

How do you participate in this work?

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