3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C

Published on 21 Jan 2019
A bible open, resting on a surface

The Law of the Lord is perfect

Almighty ever-living God,

direct our actions according to your good pleasure,

that in the name of your beloved Son

we may abound in good works.
As we step further into our New Year, this Sunday’s texts provide us with solid teaching to build up ourselves, our communities, our church, and our society in the light of God’s word, and in the clear direction of Jesus’s mission. And we are urged to do this with joy and conviction.

Ezra the priest, in the First Reading, reads to the people from the Book of the Law. They are newly returned from exile to rebuild the city walls and the Temple. Moved to tears, they are told, ‘Do not be sad; the joy of the Lord is your stronghold’. Psalm 18 (19) is a hymn of praise to God’s law. His words give spirit and life. St Paul, in the Second Reading, tells us that through baptism, we have all become members of one body, with Christ as our head. We are dependent on each other, sharing our gifts and our sorrows.

The Gospel passage begins with St Luke’s opening preface, then moves on to show us Jesus, newly returned from the desert after his baptism. In the synagogue, Jesus reads from the prophet Isaiah – this is Jesus’s own ‘mission statement’. As we ponder the essential place of God’s word in our texts, may we also pray for a deeper appreciation and reverence for it.
This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not be sad: the joy of the Lord is your stronghold.      First Reading

May the spoken words of my mouth, the thoughts of my heart, win favour in your sight, O Lord.      Psalm

Together you are Christ’s body; but each of you is a different part of it.        Second Reading

The spirit of the Lord has been given to me, for he has anointed me.      Gospel

This week’s texts if you want to reflect further

Nehemiah 8: 2–6, 8–10; Psalm 18 (19); 1 Corinthians 12: 12–30; Luke 1: 1–4; 4:14–21