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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Sunday 3rd (C) in Ordinary Time

Gospel text (Lk 1,1-4;4,14-21): Several people have set themselves to relate the events that have taken place among us, as they were told by the first witnesses who later became ministers of the Word. After I myself had carefully gone over the whole story from the beginning, it seemed right for me to give you, Theophilus, an orderly account, so that your Excellency may know the truth of all you have been taught.

Jesus acted with the power of the Spirit, and on his return to Galilee the news about him spread throughout all that territory. He began teaching in the synagogues of the Jews and everyone praised him. When Jesus came to Nazareth where he had been brought up, he entered the synagogue on the Sabbath as He usually did. He stood up to read and they handed him the book of the prophet Isaiah. Jesus then unrolled the scroll and found the place where it is written: «The Spirit of the Lord is upon me. He has anointed me to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives and new sight to the blind; to free the oppressed and announce the Lord's year of mercy». Jesus then rolled up the scroll, gave it to the attendant and sat down, while the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then He said to them, «Today these prophetic words come true even as you listen».

«Your Excellency may know the truth of all you have been taught»

Fr. Bernat GIMENO i Capín (Barcelona, Spain)

Today, Jesus' voice is brought to us by the evangelist saint Luke who, during this time of the liturgical year belonging to the “C” cycle, will be joining us. Luke writes his friend Theophilus, so that you «may know the truth of all you have been taught» (Lk 1:4). If that is why Luke is writing his friend, then we should better start pondering over the importance of the Gospel of our Lord —Word alive! and, therefore, always brand new— every day.

Today, the Word of God introduces Jesus the Master, when «He began teaching in the synagogues of the Jews» (Lk 4:15). He stood up, and like any other preacher, started to read a fragment of the Scriptures. A fragment that, precisely then, was accomplished... the great words of prophet Isaiah were being fulfilled; not only: all the words, all the contents of the Scriptures, whatever the prophets had been announcing is now being concreted by reaching its fulfillment in Jesus. It is no longer irrelevant whether to believe or not in Jesus, because it is the “Spirit of the Lord” who has anointed and sent him over.

Through His Word, God's message is good news to the poor, proclaims liberty to captives and new sight to the blind; frees the oppressed and announces a promise of salvation. It is a message filling with hope all mankind. We, children of God in Christ by virtue of our baptism, have also received his holy anointment to participate in his mission: namely, to bring this message of hope to all Mankind.

By mulling over the Gospel that brings consistency to our faith, we can see Jesus preaching in a different way than the other masters: «He taught and his message had authority» (cf. Lk 4:32). Because He preached with his amazing deeds, with his example, by giving testimony and, finally, by offering his own life for all of us. We are supposed to do the same; we cannot just limit ourselves to words: our love for God and our brothers is in bad need of our deeds and examples. As a mother trying to guide our steps for that purpose, the Church proposes The Works of Mercy —seven spiritual and seven corporal—, which can indeed be very valuable for us.

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