Gospel Reflection Jan 23 – Fr. Lynch
Sunday, January 23
Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Luke 1: 1-4; 4:14-21
Since many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the events
that have been fulfilled among us,
just as those who were eyewitnesses from the beginning
and ministers of the word have handed them down to us,
I too have decided,
after investigating everything accurately anew,
to write it down in an orderly sequence for you,
most excellent Theophilus,
so that you may realize the certainty of the teachings
you have received.
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.”
Sometimes in life we have sad moments, sad days, sad weeks, sad months, sad years and for some, sad lives. God created us out of His Love, and for reasons often beyond our limitations, we know that He did not create us to be sad all the time. Rather, sadness is part of the makeup of the totality of the human person.
These past two years have been more than a learning experience to say the least. It has brought out the worst in some and the best in others, it has challenged many to their core. There have been many sad moments, loss of loved ones, jobs, sanity, patience, and friendships. If you watch the news, it’s all sad, doom and gloom, no joy. There is NO JOY in today’s news and in the media’s ongoing self-driven narratives, Jesus is NO WHERE to be found or reported on; whereas we, as Christians have been given the promise that Jesus will come again to take us home, regardless of circumstance, and He will do it unannounced. Scripture tells us “We will not know the time or hour.” Which is why Jesus gifts us Holy Mother Church.
The Church, which is “The Bride of Christ” created for us, is the greatest gift Jesus left us. Why? Because he never actually has LEFT US, rather He has left us (gifted us) Himself in the Sacramental life of the Church, which is a fountain of Mercy, Love, Life and Joy to sanctify us.
That is why and what we hear from the Book of Nehemiah. “Today is holy to the LORD your God. Do not be sad, and do not weep”—for all the people were weeping as they heard the words of the law. He said further: “Go, eat rich foods and drink sweet drinks, and allot portions to those who had nothing prepared; for today is holy to our LORD. Do not be saddened this day, for rejoicing in the LORD must be your strength!”
As we open our hearts and minds to the Joy of Jesus in the Gospel, let us ponder the Mystery of God’s infinite love for us in His Son, a love which goes beyond all human telling to reach, shape, and mold our hearts in the Heart of Jesus. For TODAY IS HOLY, and EVERY DAY for that matter is truly Holy because our days have been made for us by the Lord. Every moment in life is a precious gift of time in our own personal lives, to see, recognize and change, so that we are on the right path to God. Jesus, Joy itself, offers to walk with us on this path, which he paves for us. This is called continual conversion and reconversion. Through this grace-filled process we can more clearly see God’s hand in everything we do on this Earth. Through grace, we can see that we too are offered the same heroic gift that the saints experienced, that gift of Joy, of knowing Christ and that Jesus is with us, even in the midst of suffering.
He is with us now amid this chaotic world, a world full of relativism, consumerism, everything which points us away from Joy and inwards towards self. We rejoice and take comfort that no matter how great a human effort, people can never extinguish the Joy which Jesus brings, a joy which wipes away every tear and overcomes all sadness. St. Brigid of Kildare…Pray for us!
Father Tim Lynch