mosaic of three magi bearing gifts following star with palms

Third Sunday After Epiphany

When [Jesus] came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:
‘The Spirit of THE HOLY ONE is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release
to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of THE HOLY ONE’s favor.’
And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to say to them, ‘Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.’
Luke 4:16-21

It’s like saying: you’re living in the Jubilee Year; all your debts – even to God – are paid off; you’re free.

If we took that seriously, if we thought about what that means, how would we feel? Would we do anything differently?

mosaic of three magi bearing gifts following star with palms

5 responses to “Third Sunday After Epiphany”

  1. It’s a great question Heather. It’s interesting that shortly afterward they wanted throw him off the cliff because he mentioned the faith of “outsiders.” It seems that then, as now, there is a sense of entitlement more than expectancy. Sort of a “yes, these are nice words and we deserve this year of jubilee.” I was actually thinking about that as I attended Mass last evening. In the Catholic Church, of course, we believe the Eucharist is the real presence of Jesus. Yet how many of us, including me sometimes I must admit, allow ourselves to be distracted by the baby crying or the long homily or the off-key note held too long by the cantor or ……. on and on. If we DO truly believe what we say we do, shouldn’t we be overjoyed and overwhelmed with what is present? Should we live differently in the jubilee?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good points, Tim. Exactly – I think we get into a habit of taking something awesome for granted too much. Possibly – this is something I’m struggling with these days – because not taking it for granted might be too demanding?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well that’s a turn I didn’t see coming. Never considered that.
        I recall hearing many years ago that the reason for the high divorce rate is that people think so “highly” of marriage that reality doesn’t live up to it. To me, taking something for granted because it’s demanding is along the same lines. Not saying it’s NOT demanding, but I think more so that we as a society and culture take all things for granted. We get easily bored because of constant stimuli. We’ve been taught to assert ourselves so often and we get trophies for everything we even consider that there is no awe, no sense of awesome, nothing that truly impresses us. I think that’s hurt us in many ways and our relationship and experience with what is God is chief among them.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Not saying so much that we take it for granted because it’s demanding – but rather, that maybe we avoid paying attention, because if we paid attention we might have to do something about it. Which may be what you’re saying in different words, about the easy boredom of constant stimulation – which fosters a sense of constant distraction, bouncing superficially from one thing to another to another, needing more and more flash to catch our notice, increasingly incapable of pausing to look deeply into things. If we did that, even the simplest and most ordinary things would begin to astonish us, I think – at least, that’s what happens to me when I actually stop to contemplate, sometimes.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I see what you mean. Yes, absolutely agree. Whether intentional or habitual, we can avoid what is demanding by our continual flit from one shiny thing to another.
        We need to rediscover awe. True awe, not just the things that catch our eye or make our mouths water. Stop and contemplate. Time. No trophies, no YouTube. Astonishment is a good word. Let’s reach for that!

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