3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time (27th January, 2019)
First Reading: Neh 8:2-6, 8-10
Second Reading:1 Cor 12:12-30
Gospel: Lk 1:1-4; 4:14-21
The mission of Jesus’ picture clearly mergers from today’s gospel. It is as if the blue print of how he is going to build the kingdom of God. it has both what he is going to do as well as who are going to be the subjects of the Kingdom. Although he only reads what was already writing in the book of Isaiah in chapter 61, Jesus makes it as an agenda of his own. It is not mere reading out of what was written but he personalizes it for himself and makes it his own mission. There are two points of reflection for us to ponder over. One is that he is completely aware that what he was going to do was not his own personal agenda but the will of the Father. Secondly his mission covers the entire world and all who seek Him.
The first message that we receive from today’s Gospel is that Jesus came to fulfill the will of His father. The reading contains phrases like ‘Spirit of the Lord is upon me’; ‘He has anointed me,’, ‘He has sent me’ etc. give us clear vision that he was to do was not with His own power or strength but His Father empowers him, commissions Him. This is what St. John in Chapter 17 in his Gospel would project i.e. God as sender and Jesus as sent. It differs, however from others being sent by God as John the Baptist was sent or other prophets in the Old Testament were sent. Jesus is sent in a unique way. He is the Son and God is the Father. Jesus’ mission therefore becomes a unique expression of Father’s love for the world. And John mentions it clearly, “God so loved the world that he gave His only son to the world so that all who believe in Him shall be saved” (Jn 3:16)
The second theme of today’s gospel is Jesus’ mission to all. It says He came ‘to bring good news to the power’, to proclaim liberty to the captives, ‘recovery of sight to the blind’ to set at liberty and freedom all who are oppressed’ and ‘to proclaim the year of the Lord’. This proclamation of good news to the poor does not mean only to give some consolation or message to the poor in money. It includes also care for them (Lk 6:20). IT ALSO IMPLES THE RESPONDSIBILTY OF OTHERS TO CARE FOT HE POOR (Lk 12:33). It only reflects God’s love for the poor not money physical i.e., hunger for food but also spiritual hunger, hunger for the Word of God and love and redemption of God. secondly he mentions recovery of sight to the blind, blindness can be referred to what he would do during his ministry restoring sight to the blind such as to the one at Jericho, but also opening of eyes to the relation of life, to lead a person to moral life as he as he invited so many persons like Samaritan woman, Zacheus the tax collector, Mathew the Tax collector, the woman caught in the adultery etc. then again this has the spiritual meaning of setting at liberty those who are oppressed and to proclaim the year of the Lords favour;. All these missionary agenda of Jesus is fulfilled during the ministry both at the physical and spiritual levels. He does all these for them as a sign of making people realize the presence of God’s kingdom. We too are called for the same mission. Let us submit and commit ourselves to fulfill the will of God by following command the Lord gives us. Amen.