3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year C - 24th January, 2016

Today This Scripture Passage is Fulfilled in Your Hearing

St Luke did not come on the scene until some years after the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. But he was a painstaking and reliable reporter. He met and worked with many who had shared the life of Jesus and the apostles, possibly even meeting Mary who had been there before the crib and after the cross. From such sources, he gleaned accurate and full accounts of the life and teaching of Jesus. He put order on these stories to present Jesus as God who became human to show God's merciful forgiveness of all people.

We live surrounded by words. Our waking hours are flooded torrents of endless talk. Newspapers teem with words describing people. events and places. While familiarity can breed contempt, over-familiarity with the Word of God, can lead to indifference or apathy.

As we hear Luke's gospel read on the coming Sundays, we realise that as well as being historically true, this gospel story is alive and life giving. It points up the links between us and Jesus.

Though written in centuries past, the sacred writings speak to us now. We can say of every passage of Scripture what Jesus said of the passage from Isaiah that he read in the synagogue: 'This text is being fulfilled today even as you listen'.

His work recounted in today's gospel is continued in the church through each one of us. Just as Jesus was anointed to bring good news to the poor, so each baptised follower is enabled by the Holy Spirit to give sight to those blinded by selfishness, to free those entrapped by guilt, to awaken hope in the downtrodden. To merely hear the gospel and not allow it to inspire one to a joyful living of its message is to ignore the nourishment our faith needs today. Faith is nurtured through gospel living. Undernourished faith quickly dies. Shared faith never dies.

We need to develop a warm and living love of Scripture. Perhaps bringing the Sunday readings home with us for later reading, or using a good commentary to guide us. Taking a course, or joining a study group. Like poetry, the only way to get to know Scripture is to read, read again and then reflect. Only then the Word of God can become for us the message of eternal life.

Fr Kevin O'Shea C.M.