Sunday, January 24, 2010



Today is the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, the longest period in the Liturgical Year. Last Sunday we admired the pre-adolescent Jesus as the youngest “teacher of Israel,” shining among the renowned teachers in the Temple.

Today we see him as the fulfillment of God’s promises as recorded in the Holy Book. The content of God’s Word offers us guidance and encouragement today, no less than it did in the history of the people of Israel. Its vital message is ever relevant.

As we are about to start this Eucharist, let us open our hearts to receive God’s Word and make it the guiding light of our lives.

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.”