OMELIE / Omelie EN

27 gen 2019
27/01/2019 – 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time - C 

27/01/2019 – 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time - C 

Reading 1 NEH 8,2-4. 5-6.8-10 * Psalm 18 * Reading 2 1COR 12,12-31 * Gospel LK 1,1-4; 4,14-21


This is a Sunday in the octave of prayer for Christian Unity. During this time we are continuing the prayer of Jesus’, who, during the Last Supper, intensely asked the Father the grace for his disciples to be united in Him and with each other: they need to be for the world a concrete sign of His own unity with the Father. In fact, Jesus knows that men do not get to believe in Him thanks to convincing speeches, but thanks to the example of love that unites His disciples. This is the reason why Saint Paul, making His Jesus’ desire, exhorts the Christians in Corinth, tempted by jealousies and envy, to overcome every friction for love of the Lord. He makes use of an image, easy to understand for everybody, about the different limbs of the body, that, despite the fact that they are all very different, are there to help each other. As the body benefits from the different skills of each limb, and suffers from the suffering in each, so the Church does.

Division among Christians makes Christ’s Body suffer. Are divisions unwanted by God the unfriendliness between Orthodox people and Catholics, between Protestants and Anglicans; and are divisions weakening the witnessing of the Gospel also the discords born inside parishes, or surfacing in groups of prayer or care, as well as discords between parents and feuds between families. What are keeping us divided are willfulness, ambition and avidity, arrogance and pride, it is neither love for the Lord nor love for His truth! These divisions would not take place if only we gave to Jesus’ word the importance it deserves: it is more important than our good ideas and our desires.

God’s word needs to have the place of honor in the community and in every person’s heart. The first reading lets us understand this. The book of the law, found in Jerusalem by Ezra in coming back from the exile in Babylon, is read in front of the entire people, that is listening while standing, and then rejoices and celebrates because God is again speaking to it. The day in which God’s Word is read becomes a celebration for everybody, for the poor too, for whoever has nothing in this world. The day of the Word is the Lord’s day, a sacred day, a day in which the community receives as gifts unity, peace, wisdom, strength and joy! The Readers have a special place, a pedestal clearly visible for everybody; they read putting in place measures to facilitate the attention of the people, that not only listens, but, bowing and acclaiming, takes part in the event and highlights the welcoming of the World.

To our welcoming the Word contributes the Evangelist Luke: today’s gospel includes the introductory verses of the gospel and a page telling about the meeting between Jesus and His people. First of all, Luke reassures us about the seriousness of his job as a reporter, having dedicated himself to record and collect other people’s writings, regarding only stories coming from reliable eyewitnesses, like the Apostles. He is writing in order to strengthen the faith, our faith of believers, threatened by our sins, but also weakened by our ignorance.

Then the Evangelist introduces the meeting between Jesus and His parents and acquaintances from Nazareth in the Synagogue in which He was used to go every week. Here He stands up to read God’s Word from the book of the prophet Isaiah. On His lips the Word sounds in a very particular way: everybody realizes that the Word is true, and that is being fulfilled. And Jesus, who knows He had been consecrated Son of God in leaving the Jordan, proclaims the Word, but not like He was reading it. God’s word regards Him, and He announces it uttering it not only through His lips, but also out of His heart. It tells about the mission that has been given to Him, the job that He received from the Father to the advantage of men suffering in this world. All men suffer, some because of material poverty, some for wanting of meaning in their life, some for wanting freedom, some because of submission to the evil spirits, all of them because of sin: He is here in order to proclaim and give the joy, the freedom, the light and the forgiveness anticipated by the prophet’s Word. Jesus Himself, His very being, i is the realization of every good thing for men and the human community. “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled…”.

What Jesus tells about Himself is true also for whoever is united to Him, for whoever is one thing with Him, for His mystical body, the Church. Jesus’ mission is the mission of everybody He has called and sent. Consecrated by the Holy Spirit, the Church, you included, announces hope to the poor, freedom to the prisoners of evil, sight to whoever cannot see the meaning of life and the journey, freedom to whoever is kept enslaved to selfishness by sin, becoming then, on their turn, oppressors of their brethren’s.

How important is for the Church not to let itself being influenced by the One who divides, or that he is not able to have his way in it: he would prevent it either completely or partially from fulfilling the task it has received from God. We will continue then to pray for all Christians’ unity, keeping alive in ourselves a spirit of meekness, obedience, brotherly love.