Pope Francis has asked us to celebrate this Sunday each year as a “Sunday of the Word of God”. He reflects upon the Sunday Readings every time he celebrates the Angelus at midday in St Peter’s Square, generally on Sunday.
Today we begin the reading of Luke’s Gospel for Year C.
- that the writer was Luke,
- that the date of composition was approx. 80 CE,
- that we ought to read Luke / Acts as a united statement,
- that he wrote the Gospel to the existing Christian community,
- that he intended to place the story of Jesus and that of the emerging Church in the context of the then known world history.
Such a task, I believe is ours…
It was a very bold statement to link the grand tradition of Isaiah with his own mission in his own town! As we will see in coming weeks, his fine words bringing applause and admiration quickly turned to hostile actions once he began to apply the deep meeting of the texts to the everyday situation of the people, particularly the lonely, the lowly, and the lost. In some sense, Jesus was ‘doing’ an Ezra! He was helping people rediscover their inheritance as people of the Word, much like we have been trying to do since Vatican II. Check out, for example, 1 Peter 1:22-29… “and this word is the Good News that has been brought to you”.
Ultimately, Jesus was not acceptable to his own country because his mission extends beyond his own country. We are the inheritors of that approach and that is the path for us today. Uncomfortable, yes. Unfamiliar for most, yes.
Maybe this Covid time is the time for us, as it were, to visit the neighbour that we have ignored or been frightened of or because we just wished to be left alone.
Christianity is about community for the Word is alive and active.
Likewise, for us.02