The Gospel Today
Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lk 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.”
Reflection (Sem. Emmanuel G. Calumpong)
When the bus I was riding going to a mall stopped to pick up passengers, a lady got on the bus and standing in front, started to preach. It was the usual rapid speech on salvation that can only be attained through the Bible and belief in Jesus. I admit that I admired her because she actually did a good job except when it was time to collect the envelopes for the “donation.” The passengers returned most of the envelopes without putting anything in it. Obviously, they couldn’t care less about her ministry.
Many preach using only their minds like memorized speeches, which do little to convince and to convert. According to our professor in Homiletics, something new, personal and relevant must be injected in order to truly communicate. We must touch and relate to the listener’s thoughts, feelings and even dreams. Mere memorization fails to excite and communicate to the audience.
In today’s gospel, Jesus immediately captured the imagination of His listeners. He appealed not only to their minds but also to their hearts. When He quoted Isaiah, Jesus injected the freshness of honesty and justice into its text making it His own. Something new and exciting was happening and Jesus’ very presence was a testament to this reality. He seemed to address each one personally and forcefully. His message might be painful to hear at times but it was always the truth.
Incidentally, today is National Bible Sunday, it is a good reminder for all of us to really read and understand the Word of God in its entirety and not just be contented in memorizing few verses from the Scriptures.