Today we hear a lot about reading. In the First Reading Ezra reads from the law and then interprets the law for the listeners to understand. Today's Gospel Reading combines two parts of Luke's Gospel (Luke 1:1-4 & Luke 4:14-21). The first section of the Gospel is Luke's opening words, where he tells about the purpose of what he is writing. After we hear why Luke is writing this, we skip over a large chunk of writing where Jesus is born and baptized and jump to Jesus reading in the synagogue on the Sabbath.
As Jesus stands in the synagogue, he reads a scroll handed to him containing a reading from the prophet Isaiah.
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour."
Then Jesus simply rolls up the scroll and hands it back to the attendant and goes to sit down, and then Luke tells us that
"The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him."
When I was reading this scripture earlier today, when I got to this part, I pictured something like this monkey:
But it is true, all of the people who heard Jesus speak were amazed. In reading this piece of scripture, Jesus is announcing what he has been sent from heaven to do. He was sent to bring good news to the poor, proclaim release to the captives, and provide recovery of sight to the blind. Most importantly, he was sent to proclaim the Word of God and to break the bonds of sin and death so that we might once again live in unity with God.
In 2019 Pope Francis proclaimed the Third Sunday of Ordinary Time the Sunday of the Word of God.
Let us pray for Christian Unity.
We humbly ask you, Lord, lover of the human family, to pour out more fully upon us the grace of your Spirit, and grant that, walking worthily in the vocation to which you have called us, we may bear witness to the truth before others and seek with confidence the unity of all believers in the bond of peace. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever