Gospel Reflection for 27th of January The 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
‘I have been sent to bring the Good News to the Poor…’
We have finished our Advent preparations; we have celebrated Christmas, the Epiphany and the Baptism of Jesus. Now, as we begin what is called ‘Ordinary Time’ we meet Jesus as he openly and publicly begins his public ministry.
When a politician wants to get themselves known to the public; they speak out publicly to attract people’s attention. They set out their programme and political agenda; they may even have a catchy slogan or phrase.
Having being baptised and anointed by God with the words, ‘You are my Beloved, my favour rests on you’, Jesus goes to the temple. He stands up and reads from the Sacred Jewish Scriptures. He finds the place in the Prophet Isaiah and boldly proclaims for all to hear; ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, he has anointed me. I have been sent to bring the Good News to the Poor.’ So when we ask why was Jesus born, this is our answer: he came to bring the Good News to the poor. What is this Good News? The Good News is that God created us, God forgives us and God heals us. God does this through the very person of Jesus Christ. Through the voice of Jesus, we hear God speaking to us personally and intimately. Through the face actions of Jesus, we meet and experience the tender love and compassion of God.
At the time of Jesus if a person was sick in any way; blind, crippled, a leper or a widow, they were and treated as sinners. They were excluded, ignored and dismissed as being worthless in the eyes of God. But these are they very people that Jesus came to be with. Jesus came to bring the Good News that God loved the poor, the outcast, the ignored and the despised. Many people disliked and criticised Jesus because of his friendship with the poor. They even said, ‘Look this man even eats with sinners!’ But these were the very people who saw and recognised Jesus for he really was. It was the blind who saw him, the deaf who heard him and the crippled who followed him.
Being a Christian is not just a pleasant name or a comfortable badge to wear. It is a way of life. To call ourselves Christians is to follow the one called the Christ. It is to live as he lived, to love as he loved and to treat others he treated people. As Christians, we are called to put our faith into concrete and real action in our daily lives. St James tells us that if we see someone who is hungry, naked or homeless but do nothing doing to help them, what use is that? Faith without good works is dead, he reminds us.
We are called not only to hear the Good News from Jesus, we are challenged to live it and put it into practice whenever and wherever we can. May we do all we can to share the Good News of our faith with others, especially those who are poor, ignored and on the margins of our church and society today.
– Br Michael Moore OMI
Gospel: Luke 1:1-4; 4:14-21
Since many have undertaken to set down an orderly account of the events that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed on to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, I too decided, after investigating everything carefully from the very first, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the truth concerning the things about which you have been instructed.
Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone. When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to procaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
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