Third Sunday In Ordinary Time
Luke 1: 1-4; 14-21
Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit… He taught and was praised by all… He came to Nazareth where he had grown up. These phrases lead to a deeper mystery or clearer understanding of who the human Jesus was as he lived among the inhabitants of the region where he was born.
Mystery, because this passage takes place when Jesus was about thirty years old. The Finding in the Temple and holy cards and statues of him working with Joseph are the only clues revealing how Jesus spent his days here on Earth. Apparently he left home to discover who he was as a human, rather than God, so that he could prepare for the public life and mission that brought salvation to those who believe.
His return was by the power of the Spirit and his reputation preceded him. It was never revealed what he did to earn a good reputation. Is it possible that this passage is the beginning of all we need to know about his life? His teaching and accumulation of stories found in the New Testament are the foundation of theology. This Jesus is a personification of a natural life of one born, one who matures, and follows a path placed before him because he and the Father were one.
When the scroll was handed to him, the people of Nazareth and we who study the passage today realize this is Day One of his ministry. Commit to believing he was the person Isaiah presents, or just take this event as just another happening. This was a seminal moment in the history of humankind and religion. Beyond this it can be recalled that his mother was told he would be the rise and fall of many.
Reputations are hard or even impossible to change, and because Jesus was respected, this day created a peaceful transition for him to go into the public eye.
If our proof of being a Christian is our reputation, examine how our family members, school mates, work mates, social contacts describe us. Are you the person who brings glad tidings to the poor, heals broken hearts, as you were given the grace to do at Baptism? Is this the day you commit to doing so because that is the mission of us all and we know not how much more time we have to fulfill it?
Sr. Dorothy Maxwell, OP