The Good News for All Times

View the readings for this Sunday.

Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019, Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
•Neh 8:2-4A, 5-6, 8-10
•Ps 19:8, 9, 10, 15
•1 Cor 12:12-30
•Lk 1:1-4; 4:14-21

In 21st century America, we enjoy many conveniences and freedoms that people living a century ago could hardly have imagined.

Thanks to cell phones, for example, just about everyone can send a message to anyone anywhere with just a few clicks of a button. You'd think we'd never be lonely again. Thanks to the internet, we have access to more information and entertainment than we could possibly consume. You'd think we'd never be bored again. We've made so much progress in science and medicine, you'd think we'd never get sick again. We have so much food and such little fear of things like famine in this country, you'd think no one would ever go hungry again.

But we still get lonely and bored. We still fall ill, and people still starve. No amount of wealth and no amount of technological or scientific progress, of course, can fully address the troubles of our world, the problem of our corrupted human nature. Though nothing in the world can remedy our brokenness, the Gospel, which means "good news," can.

In the reading from the Gospel this weekend, Jesus proclaims the Gospel message for the first time publicly in a synagogue in Nazareth. He quotes Isaiah, saying, "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" (Lk 4:18-19).

As the Scripture above implies, Christ came for the poor, for the blind, and for captives. In other words, He came to save everybody. Sin makes us all spiritually blind and poor and holds us all captive. The severity of our blindness, poverty, and captivity does not inhibit God. His mercy can always restore us.

As St. Faustina says in her Diary:

Were a soul like a decaying corpse so that from a human standpoint, there would be no [hope of] restoration and everything would already be lost, it is not so with God. The miracle of Divine Mercy restores that soul in full. Oh, how miserable are those who do not take advantage of the miracle of God's mercy! (1448)

This is why the Gospel is such good news. God wants to restore us. He wants to heal all our wounds and fill us with His peace and joy. All we have to do is ask Him to forgive our sins, and every day He will continually set us free until we enter the perfect happiness of Heaven.

View the previous Sunday Scripture Preview.

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