YEAR C: HOMILY FOR THE 3RD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: PROPHECY IN FULFILMENT
BY: Fr. Benny Tuazon
HOMILY: (Lk. 1:1-4, 4:14-21) Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
In today’s Gospel Jesus goes back to Galilee and found Himself in Nazareth tasked to read the scriptures from the scroll. The reading was from the prophet Isaiah where he talked of his anointment as a messenger of God. It was also a reference to the coming Messiah and God’s plan of salvation. JESUS lays claim to these words of Isaiah as the one who is to come. The Spirit is with Him, meaning He was not acting only on His own but with the Father at work too. This gave an adversarial reaction from His listeners because they knew Jesus and His parents. They also could not accept that the Messiah will come from Nazareth.
JESUS was seen as a lunatic and ambitious. This is a common reaction we have with people we know. We tend to already determine what they can and cannot do. Reason always prevail. But we know that reason is limited and can only be true to a certain extent. When we just rely on reason, we fail to see and believe in the beyond, transcendent, or possible.
This Gospel also reminds us of the classic cern of Jesus. His coming was with a purpose. Specifically for the poor, oppressed, and rejected in society. Most of these are sinners. He came to forgive and free them from their slavery. In fact, this was interpreted as more than physical imprisonment, hunger, thirst, and sickness. It was a freedom from sin to slavery to God.
The “year acceptable to the Lord” is what we now celebrate as the Jubilee Year. Jewish tradition says that once a year, a period of remission from all penal consequences should be granted. Though not practiced strictly, it give the message that we have a God who is compassionate and merciful. This is what JESUS brings. He gives hope to sinners and the poor. His coming is a time for blessing and assessment of self. Hopefully, our experience of forgiveness will also be shared by us to others who had sinned against us and who owe us some things.
As we begin this new year, our faith gives the us the cue to how the year should go. Invite the Spirit to be with us, have concern for the poor and sinners, ask for and be willing to render forgiveness to others. Let each year be a jubilee year!