To watch Fr. Joe’s homily for the 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time: CLICK HERE!
Imagine living in the time of Jesus. As a devout Jew who went to synagogue every Sabbath, part of the prayer ritual was reading from the Hebrew Scripture (aka the “Old Testament). And in walks Jesus, the carpenter’s son, who is asked not only to read the passage from Isaiah, but to share a commentary. And then Jesus says, “This is happening right here, right now”…
And some got it immediately, “Jesus was speaking as if HE was the Anointed One. He was acting as if he believed it.” Not what people expected to hear.
One commentator shares that the reading from Luke’s Gospel is aimed straight at today’s church, reminding us that Jesus’ words are not comfort from the past, but a program for today.
Pope Francis has also shared that, “reading the Scriptures also makes it clear that the Gospel is about the Kingdom of God. To the extent that God reigns within us, the life of society will be a setting for universal fraternity, justice, peace and dignity.”
In a sense, Pope Francis’ words are simply a variation of Jesus announcement that the “Scriptures are fulfilled today in our midst.”
Pope Francis also shared, “both Christian preaching and life, are meant to have an impact on society. That means that if we live as Christians, we will disturb the same sectors of society that Jesus did. If our worship is truly Christian (Christ-centered), it will move us to make a difference.”
For Jesus, the difference centers on being good news to the poor. Which means people who are poor: economically, socially, chronologically, educationally, geographically, or in any other way.
To use the imagery of St. Paul, wherever there is a real presence of the body of Christ, life will be different for the poor, beginning with the fact that they will know that they are loved and respected and that they are invited to our tables.
My friends, we have all been blessed, gifted with Spirit of God. We have all been called to be like Jesus… to bring God’s promises to life in our time and place.
It may be a daunting challenge…
But as people of faith, we are called by the spirit of God to continue to be the body of Christ to those we meet today and every day, to the ends of the earth.
Hopefully today’s scriptures will get us thinking and living/acting in ways that not only help us or me, but help others who look to Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World here on earth as it will be in heaven.
Just maybe today’s Scriptures will get us asking what will we do… What will my family do… What can I do to bring glad tidings to the poor, the captives, those who have lost their way, those who are oppressed?
Like Jesus, may we not only say but may we give evidence to our living of the words of Isaiah each day that “the Spirit of the Lord is upon me. He has sent me to proclaim the Kingdom of God” today, tomorrow and every day!