Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Third Sunday in Ordinary Time Homily Transcript
One of my favorite scenes and this might be, might relate well to this time of the year, is really a first fresh snowfall. You know, when you go out, go outside and overnight the snow has fallen and that snow just looks just perfect. Or maybe that first snowfall is maybe not the best image for you if you don’t like snow. Or think of like a beach with sand perfectly still or the sea perfectly still and calm. Whatever that image is.
I like that idea of that fresh look. I often think of that in the beginning of the new year in January here. We think about the fresh new year that’s ahead of us. And you know, our readings today from Sacred Scripture, I think appropriately help us as we sojourn and begin our journey through this year. Today, these first few weeks of the month of the year, remind me of starting out brand new. Starting out with a new optimism and a new outlook, a new hopefulness.
Today, as we look at the readings from, the first reading from, we hear Ezra opening up the scroll and in that he is proclaiming, “Today is holy to the Lord.” He’s speaking to the people not to be sad or to be depressed, “Rejoicing in the Lord must be your strength”, he says. And he even like tries to encourage them in so many ways to uplift their spirits as they have been in exile for so long.
Jesus, in the Gospel today, speaks similar words and he quotes the prophet, the book of Isaiah in chapter 61. He openly speaks encouraging words to God’s people once again. He says, “Good news.” But yet, many are probably not ready to welcome that good news. Jesus proclaims the beautiful reading on a Sabbath saying that the Spirit of the Lord is upon Him and enables Him to announce glad tidings to the poor, to have release those who are captive, to let them go free. And He says and all eyes are on Him. He encourages those who hear His words now to make a change, to see that the Messiah has come, to see in Him the Messiah is with them and will help them.
But that requires great faith and that requires great trust. One of the blessings that we have in the beginning of this year is to know that the Lord is with us. That we are blessed by that same connection the Lord makes with us in the Body of Christ. As St. Paul tells us in the second reading. We’re all part of the Body of Christ. The Lord opens our eyes today. He sets us free. He wants us to come and to follow Him with the assurances that He is with us and assurances of faith.
As we find strength and encouragement today in the new year, beginning this time, a fresh patch of snow or whatever that might be that scenery is, that fresh start may be just what we need and that encouragement from the Lord who is with us to bring those glad tidings, to fill our hearts with hope.
Nehemiah 8:2-4a, 5-6, 8-10
1 Corinthians 12:12-30 or 12:12-14, 27
Luke 1:1-4; 4:14-21
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