View all Gospel Reflections |
Fulfilled in Our Hearing
Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Luke 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.”
Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, grant me the grace to be your disciple, faithful to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit and courageous in sharing your glad tidings.
- We Are All Theophilus: St. Luke “investigated everything accurately anew,” speaking with eyewitnesses, in order to provide his friend a chronicle of the greatest story in history. Luke, presuming that Theophilus (in Latin, Lover of God) wanted to discover the richness of the life and teachings of Jesus, wanted to guard him from error. Thanks to this singular focus on this particular “Lover of God,” the church has been gifted with a masterpiece of storytelling. Without Luke, we wouldn’t have knowledge of the Annunciation, the Visitation, the Prodigal Son, or the appearance of Our Lord in the breaking of the bread on the road to Emmaus. We wouldn’t have the corroboration of the miracles and the Passion account told to us by the other synoptic Gospel writers, and the added depth of understanding Christ’s sweating blood or the banter of the two thieves. The riches of the Catholic faith, provided to one Lover of God, are blessedly available to all, so we, too, can know and love God.
- From Daybreak to Midday: The Jewish people knew their laws, they knew their customs, and they understood from where they came. A morning occupied by listening to the Torah proclaimed was time very well spent. We, on the other hand, are looking at our watches if an hour has gone by and our priests haven’t gotten at least to the announcements, if not the final blessing. Back then, before God’s word was available at the touch of a button, and even long before it could be carried around in book form, the Chosen People knew in their hearts that they needed to be instructed. They, like us, though, needed also to be reminded that what they were hearing was more than an instruction manual; it was truly Good News—that the Lord God, creator of Heaven and earth, had chosen man to be his supreme creation, and had laid out his plans for us to live in harmony with him. Ezra the prophet implored his listeners, and us, to revel in this understanding, to celebrate God’s infinite goodness and his abundant mercy.
- Anointed with the Lord: “Well did Isaiah prophesy.” Indeed, the One who was to come is here, and he fulfills this prophecy. We who are poor have abundance; the Eucharist sustains us always and everywhere. We who are captives to our brokenness are free; he draws us to himself in the sacrament of Reconciliation. We who are spiritually blind have been given our sight; anointed in Baptism, we live as one body in the light of Christ. And we who are oppressed by the evil one have certainty that he has been defeated, and we have been delivered, through the supreme act of love, love from the cross. Roll up that scroll, Lord, in this acceptable time, and send me out to do your will!
Conversing with Christ: Lord Jesus, thank you for the gift of your word, which is spirit and life. Help me to welcome this gift daily and share it with others. Give me courage and wisdom to live out my baptismal promises and be a channel of your grace to others.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will be attentive to opportunities to share the Good News with others through my words, deeds, and silent prayers.
For Further Reflection: Scripture Is All About Connections by Dr. Jeff Mirus.
Andrew Rawicki and his wife JoAnna live in Irving, Texas, near seven of their nine grandchildren. A convert from Judaism, Andrew entered the Church in 1991 and has been a member of the Regnum Christi spiritual family since 2001. He has served as the Regnum Christi Local Director for Dallas since July 2020.