St. Augustine Catholic Church
Sunday, January 23, 2022
Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Dear Church Family,
One of my favorite Scripture passages is the gospel today where Jesus boldly tells everybody that He is the fulfillment of what Isaiah proclaimed. So after He had read the scripture, He says these words, “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.” After he said that, He powerfully concluded that “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” Alleluia! He is starting His ministry and calling all of His people, starting with the Jewish people, and then all to listen and learn a new sacred way of living and loving.
We hear the words of Ezra in the first reading just after the Israelites had returned from the Babylonian captivity . Ezra stood on a platform for every man, woman and child old enough to understand and he proclaimed the Law, “Today is holy to the LORD your God. Do not be sad, and do not weep. The people were weeping and understanding as they were taking the words to heart in thanksgiving. Nehemiah and Ezra told the people to stop their weeping and then he said these words to make them feel better, “Go, eat rich foods and drink sweet drinks” (Sounds good, doesn’t it?) “and allot portions to those who have nothing prepared; for today is holy to the LORD. Do not be saddened this day, for rejoicing in the LORD must be your strength.”
Church family, it would be so good for us to all the more have the spirit of these people coming back from death to life, from captivity to freedom. So there is great rejoicing in the Lord who is their strength and to go with this message, I like to think of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians as describing Jesus’s body, the Church, which we are definitely a part. In past days, we called this “the mystical body” to which we belong. Paul says these sacred words that “God is Good all the time, All the time God is Good!” So enjoy and believe these sacred words.
Love, Father Bob