Dear people of God,
Good morning to you all. On this third Sunday of ordinary time, the Scripture readings focus our attention on the liberating power of the Word of God. The readings challenge us to listen to the Word, accept it into our hearts, then put it into practice as we live out our lives, thus liberating ourselves and others from all types of bondages.
In our first reading, after the people had worked together to achieve their goal and freedom, Nehemiah gathered them, and read the good news to them. After listening and meditating on the word of God, the people echoed “Amen!” In today’s gospel, Luke presents Jesus’ mission. This is, the fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives, to proclaim the Lord’s year of favor…” (Isaiah 61: 1). This prophecy was made when the Israelites lived in slavery and misery in exile. So, by using these same words as the basis of his ministry and mission, Christ announced His reign of peace, justice, freedom and love to all those suffering from all kinds of oppressions and injustice.
Like Prophet Nehemiah in our first reading, Christ proclaims the good news of the new era to all of us. The good news liberates us from slavery of sins. This makes us, spiritually blind and weak. It cripples our spiritual life, and hardens our hearts against God and all that is good. Only Christ can liberate us from this slavery.
We can achieve this liberation by accepting the good news, and by seeking reconciliation with Christ and ourselves. However, it is important to note that Christ strengthens to overcome all. Once we receive true liberation from Christ, we have to share it with those we encounter in our daily lives, families, neighborhoods, parishes and workplaces.
Have a Joyful and Blessed Sunday!
Yours in Jesus,