Third Sunday of Ordinary Time (January 27, 2019)

During this third year of Sunday readings, we will hear the Gospel of Luke proclaimed during ordinary time.

Luke begins his Gospel by telling us that he has investigated carefully the events of Jesus’ coming among us. He wants to write them down in an orderly sequence for Theophilus, a person who loves God, so that he (and we) may realize the certainty of what has been taught to us by word of mouth.

Luke is writing his Gospel about forty or fifty years after Jesus’ death and rising. So far, the life and teachings of Jesus had been passed down by word of mouth. Luke is moved by the Holy Spirit to write out the events of Jesus’ life so that the ever-growing community of believers may have greater certainty about them as they share the good news with new members.

Luke begins Jesus’ public ministry in a synagogue. We heard Jesus read from the prophet Isaiah and then tell the people that God is fulfilling this prophecy in him. He has just been anointed by the Spirit in his baptism in the Jordan. Now he comes to bring good news to all who trust in God’s goodness. What he will say and what he will be doingis meant for those who have been suffering – captives, the blind, the oppressed.

God has heard their cries and honors their faithful longing for salvation. God has sent Jesus to bring them liberty, recovery, freedom. He has come to proclaim a time that is God’s.In Jesus, all who have waited will experience the loving-kindness, the mercy, the compassion of God.

You and I suffer our own forms of captivity, blindness, and oppression. Have I, have you, been waiting for God? Do we trust in God’s goodness and care for us? Luke reminds us: Jesus is God’s loving-kindness, God’s mercy, God’s compassion, present among us. How is Jesus speaking to you, to me, in our suffering? What is he asking of me, of you? How is Jesus’ gracious presence with me, with you, good news? How can his presence make a difference in the way you and I want to live today?

This is a year acceptable to the Lord. Jesus desires to love us and journey with us. Are you, am I, willing to make an unconditional journey with Jesus, trusting that he is leading us home to our Father’s house? If we are, then let us make a conscious choice each day to call on Jesus often during the day and use the grace that he will surely give us.