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Scripture Reflection - January 27, 2019

THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME


Neh. 8: 2-4a, 5-6, 8-10; Ps 19: 8,9,10,15; 1 Cor. 12: 12-30; Luke 1:1-4, 4:14-21.

Though our secular sense may be somewhat reluctant to leave the Christmas season with all of its ornaments and joyous occasions, our spiritual sense should be more than ready to accept the true meaning of the birth of Jesus and the real challenge of the not so ordinary Ordinary Time that thrusts us back into the needs of everyday living.


This challenge is so beautifully expressed in today’s Gospel according to Luke through the words of Isaiah in the scroll handed to Jesus:


“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.”


When Jesus was finished, he said to the congregation, “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” This preaching at Nazareth marked the beginning of Jesus’ entire ministry.


Luke’s introduction to his Gospel reminds us that the Scriptures “grows and develops…God’s will is not to be confined to any absolute, written law; rather it is to be interpreted within the united body of believers and within the needs and possibilities of each ‘today’.” [1]


The words of Ezra, who is considered almost another Moses, proclaiming from the book of the Law tells the people “today is holy to the Lord your God…do not be saddened for rejoicing in the Lord must be your strength”. [1] This resounds in the Communion Antiphon, “Look toward the Lord and be radiant”.


We note from Paul in 1 Corinthians that we are in the body of Christian faith. We are individually parts of this diverse and all-inclusive body with our particular abilities but reflective of unity and mutual concern.


The words of the Gospel and the Readings are as applicable to us today as they were to those who heard them thousands of years ago. How can we best apply them in this new year in spite of the struggles and divisions within our Church, our society, our government, and our world?


Just as Jesus committed his life to its special journey for humanity, so must we commit our own journeys to live the Gospel and bring it to others through our openness to God’s Spirit, our faithfulness to Jesus’ promises, and our willingness to share. And so, we pray that for each”today” we will be empowered to fully and joyfully share in Jesus’ ministry to those in need.


Sister Beryl Herdt, O.P.


[1]Carroll Stuhlmueller, C.P. Biblical Meditations for Ordinary Time-Weeks 1-9.

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