Third Sunday on Ordinary Time:
Jesus said; “This text is being fulfilled today even as you listen.” Luke 4:22
‘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 downtrodden free, to proclaim the Lord’s year of favour. ‘ Lk 4:18,19
At Mass this coming weekend we will hear these words being read as they are being proclaimed by Jesus in the Synagogue in Nazareth, His home town.
St Luke mentions that Jesus was a regular worshipper in the Synagogue on the Sabbath Day and was in there praying and serving as He usually was. It was His turn to read from the Scroll of the Prophet Isaiah. He read these words of which He is the fulfilment. (c.f. Isaiah 61:1-3). Throughout the whole of His life on earth, Jesus sets us an example. Jesus, the All-Holy One, the Just One, the Son of God Incarnate in human flesh, goes to weekly worship, prays and reads Holy Scripture. He does not need to do any of these things for He is the Author of all life and faith, but He chooses to submit to the Will and obedience of His Father, our Loving, Eternal and True God. We too should imitate Jesus by our regular prayer, worship and study of scripture so we can take His word to others and bring about the Kingdom of God on earth by our actions.
Jesus comes to fulfil the Law and the Prophets by His Incarnation, His becoming flesh as Man. He is the living embodiment of the prophecy for Jesus’ whole life, work and ministry will be bringing about the promised salvation for all people by His Suffering, Death and Resurrection. However, His life will be spent in loving obedience to His Father as He brings about and establishes the Kingdom of God on earth by His preaching, teaching, healing and miracles.
In our Baptism, we too were given the Precious Holy Spirit and were anointed with His Love, Grace, Mercy and Power to live an authentic Christian life. We received the Sign of the Cross on our foreheads as we were sealed with the Holy Spirit and anointed with Oil of Baptism on our chest to give us spiritual strength. The Oil of Chrism seals us forever as Sons and Daughters of God and we are meant to be the bringers of His Kingdom to all we meet.
We too have a share in the work and Ministry of Christ. We are prophets, priests and kings in our Baptism just as Jesus is. It is up to us to draw on the strength of God and in particular the Holy Spirit Who will also be our strength and guide and help us to shine like bright lights in this dark world to the glory of the Father. If we are faithful, others will know that we are Children of God as they see the way we live out our lives and work to make God known and loved, and His kingdom established on earth.
We continue our journey through Ordinary Time – Winter. In the world of nature, we look forward to the days of Spring just around the corner as we see the signs of new growth and new life beginning to sprout forth from the earth. Ordinary time is a good opportunity for us to use the Sundays at Mass to feed ourselves spiritually through the readings and prayers at Mass, and also to allow the seeds that the Lord has planted deep within us to begin to grow and mature. We might feel cold, hard and barren like the earth at this time of year in our hearts and souls, but there is new life waiting to burst forth if we choose to nurture the precious seed of faith that has been entrusted to us as a deposit by the Holy Spirit living within us.
Let us ask the Lord to help us to live out our faith in a real, authentic way and with courage.
Our prayer this week comes from:
Dear God, You call each and every one of us to proclaim Your good news to people who are poor, hungry, sad, lonely, bullied, scared, or weary. May we do all that we can to answer that call. We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.