Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
January 24, 2010
Luke 1: 1-4; 4: 14-21
Saint Luke tells us that Jesus, guided by the Holy Spirit, returns to Nazareth “where He had grown up.” He enters the Synagogue on the Sabbath and reads from the Scriptures.
Christianity tells his listeners that He is the fulfillment of both the Law and the Prophets. In other words, Jesus is saying: I am the Messiah.
We know from the entire text itself that the response to this claim was “mixed.” Some believed Him; others were “amazed;” and still others expressed doubt and dismay. The congregation was divided. The skeptics responded by drawing attention to His humble origins: the son of Joseph, the artisan.
There is in this response a kind of cynicism which invites doubt. But for the time being, we must return to the portion of the Gospel read at Mass today and we, you and I, must put the question to ourselves personally: Do I believe that Jesus of Nazareth is God? Do I believe that He is the Messiah? Is my faith in Him merely a “mechanical” response to a series of recorded events in a book we call the Bible?
In the words of the Holy Father, Benedict XVI: Either Jesus of Nazareth is God or He is not.
The Church has just concluded her Liturgical observance of Christmas. May this great feast, which is filled with Hope, Joy and Light, help us to believe that yes, Jesus of Nazareth is God; that He has become a child for us; that He has become one of us so that He could love us and redeem us.