Reflection for the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (C) - January 27, 2019

Author: Geoffrey T. Mooney

Reflection for the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (C) – January 27, 2019




For many of us as children, getting up early on Sunday mornings and going to church was a normal part of our family’s weekly routine.  For others, perhaps this is a practice we have discovered or recovered anew since coming to Notre Dame.  What is it about Sundays?  Apart from Scripture telling us to “keep holy the sabbath day,” why do we continue to mark out one day among all the others and go about it differently than all the rest?  In our Gospel this weekend, Jesus returns to his childhood home at Nazareth and enters the synagogue just as he would have done countless times before with Mary and Joseph on the sabbath.  He likely sees familiar faces, the regulars in front and a few latecomers straggling in after the opening prayers, this one who cannot sing and that one who always has a smile.  Even the divine Son of God recognizes the deep need we all have to carve out time each week to make our way to God’s house.  With us Jesus shares a human heart that burns for God, a heart that longs for communion with the Father experienced through the love and fellowship of a worshiping and believing community.  “You have made us for yourself, O Lord,” St. Augustine writes, “and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”  In this new semester, may our Sunday rest truly be found in God, and may our Sunday celebration bring us closer to the one who longs for us.


Gospel (Luke 4:14-21)


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 sabbath 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.”


Hymn (Tune: NETTLETON)


Called to gather as God’s people, we assemble in this place

to unite our hearts and voices in thanksgiving for God’s grace:

For the birthing of creation, for Christ’s rising from death’s hold,

for the coming of the Spirit, week by week claimed and retold.


Taught and formed by proclamation, we await God’s promised Word:

Song and story, psalm and precept, all the range of Scripture heard.

By this ancient, living witness, we are summoned to confess

how we fall short, yet can trust that God will hear, forgive, and bless.