3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted on January 24, 2019

"He came to Nazareth, where he had grown up." Did you grow up in a small town? Whenever you see sto-ries of tight-knit communities, a common refrain is that everybody knows everybody and that's very diffi-cult to change. If you leave and return, people expect you to be and act a certain way, and it's strange for them if you do not. In today's Gospel, we see that Je-sus was already moving "in the power of the Spirit and news of him spread throughout the whole region. He...was praised by all." His ministry has begun! News of his growing popularity must have proceeded him to Nazareth. Upon his arrival, he "went according to his custom into the synagogue on the sabbath day." For the first few moments, he is what they expect - their hometown boy returning to pay his respects. As was common of men at the time, he takes a turn reading a passage of Sacred Scripture. It is a bold passage, one he selects intentionally. "He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me." After reading about holy anointings, liberation for the poor and prisoners, and physical healings, Jesus does the unthinkable. "'Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.'" We are all called to imitate Christ wherever we are. This might mean doing the unexpected! All too often we're content with the daily status quo, and so are the people around us. When we take a stand for Christian values, change our lifestyle to reflect the Gospel, and work for justice in society, we may make others un-comfortable. But Jesus doesn't call us to the same life we lived yesterday or the year before that. He is call-ing all of us - each and every one of us - to deeper conversion of heart. No matter what other people ex-pect, will you love in the Spirit of the Lord today? 

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