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3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time – His Mission

“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 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’” (Luke 4:14-21).
In this Gospel reading, Luke demonstrated the authenticity and legitimacy of Jesus and his mission. Luke wanted his readers to accept Jesus as the Son of God because of what Jesus proclaimed in the synagogue and how he lived out that mission.
The good news announced in the synagogue was becoming a reality as Jesus spoke it. Jesus was teaching the people that the kingdom of God was already present. This message is as important for us today as it was for those who heard Jesus in the synagogue.
We see in all the Gospels that Jesus was a charismatic and powerful speaker. Jesus commanded people’s attention and impressed them with his eloquence. These gifts, Luke wants us to understand, are evidence of the presence and the power of the Spirit within Jesus.
If you had been in the synagogue that day, would you have been convinced by the message, the messenger, or both? Many may claim to be moved by the Spirit, but their actions are at odds with what they preach. With Jesus, we see an essential unity between what he said and what he did.
How can you be more open to God’s call in your life and the world around you?

Adapted from Word on the Go, a downloadable resource from RENEW International.

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