Gospel: Luke 1:1-4; 4:14-21
Seeing that many others have undertaken to draw up accounts of the events that have taken place among us, exactly as these were handed down to us by those who from the outset were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word, I in my turn, after carefully going over the whole story from the beginning, have decided to write an ordered account for you, Theophilus, so that your Excellency may learn how well founded the teaching is that you have received.
Jesus, with the power of the Spirit in him, returned to Galilee; and his reputation spread throughout the countryside. He taught in their synagogues and everyone praised him.
He came to Nazara, where he had been brought up, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day as he usually did. He stood up to read and they handed him the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Unrolling the scroll he found the place where it is written:
The spirit of the Lord has been given to me, for he has anointed me.
He has sent me to bring the good news to the poor,
to proclaim liberty to captives and to the blind new sight,
to set the downtrodden free,
to proclaim the Lord’s year of favour.
He then rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the assistant and sat down. And all eyes in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to speak to them,
‘This text is being fulfilled today even as you listen’
The Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
Donal Neary SJ
Gospel Reflections Year C
Faith beyond words
Jesus' religious beliefs grew on the word of God. Through boyhood and family life, visits to the synagogue and prayer, he heard the word of God. Gradually he knew what it meant. Now was his time to speak that word, and to begin his ministry.
For Mary and Joseph this was a proud moment. They had given their time and love to Jesus' upbringing and now it would bear fruit. Today parents worry about the faith of their children. They see a different attitude to religion, prayer, morality and many other aspects of life. They wonder did they do their job well.
Much of the culture today goes against God and religion. Parents cannot fight the culture. But they can hand on the best of the gospel by their own faith and by the way they live their lives, by their love and by speaking the truth as they see it. What is handed on in faith is beyond words.
Teachers and chaplains play a big role in handing on our faith. The Church owes a huge gratitude to teachers, chaplains, priest and lay, who have held that role in very difficult times over the last forty years.
We are all part of the 'faith ministry' of Jesus. By our own prayer we can help a new generation find their way to faith. We hand over worries to the Lord. Prayer gives us the encouragement to support a younger generation in their ways of faith - meditation groups, prayer groups, folk and gospel music Masses, work for and among the poor. God loves our younger generation more than we do!
Lord may my own faith grow deeper by my relationship with you.Help those who search for you, especially the young.
Help us all to find your love in our lives, Amen.