Sunday, January 24, 2016

3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time, Year C

In this Sunday's Gospel, when Jesus returns to Galilee and teaches in the synagogues there, "Everyone sang his praises," says St. Luke. How often we can think, "If only I could have sat at his feet and heard him speak." Yet the early Christian writer Origen (183-253), who commented on this passage, assures us that we are not at a disadvantage:
When you read about Jesus teaching in the synagogues of Galilee and everyone there praising him, take care not to regard those people as uniquely privileged, and yourselves as deprived of his teaching....Throughout the world Jesus looks for instruments through which he can continue his teaching....
When Jesus had read this prophecy, “he rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the assistant and sat down. Every eye in the synagogue was fixed upon him.”
Jesus teaches in the synagogue, Caldarusani Monastery, Romania
Here too in this synagogue, that is in this present assembly, you can at this very moment fix your eyes upon your Savior if you wish. Whenever you direct your inward gaze toward wisdom and truth and the contemplation of God’s only Son, then your eyes are fixed upon Jesus.
Blessed was that congregation of which the Gospel says, “All eyes in the synagogue were fixed upon him!” How I long for our own assembly to deserve the same testimony; for all of you, catechumens as well as the faithful, women, men, and children, to have your eyes, not those of the body but of the soul, turned toward Jesus!
When you look at Jesus your own faces will become radiant with his reflected glory, and you will be able to say: “The light of your face has shed its brightness upon us, O Lord!” To you be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.

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