Home
LIVING THE CATHOLIC FAITH IN THE 3RD MILLENIUM
A LAYMAN'S LOOK AT THE JOURNEY OF FAITH

3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time - The Spirit is Upon Us

Like the prophets who lived before him, Jesus doubtless became aware of the gap between the ideals of a religious vision - a nation that would create a just society according to the norms of respect enshrined in the Mosaic Law and the social reality of his time. He no doubt felt a "call" within himself to stand up and be counted, to do something about this gap, to be a prophetic figure. But what was Jesus thinking?

readingfromisaiah Who, in his right mind, knowing what happened to prophets all throughout the history of Israel, would ever put his hand up and volunteer to be a prophet?

The Gospel tells us that Jesus returned to Galilee to begin His mission "in the power of the Spirit." It's the anointing with the Spirit that enables Jesus to begin His mission. At the synagogue, Jesus read the words of Isaiah: "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." And then he tells them: "Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing."

It is interesting that Jesus announces his ministry by reading this particular passage. "Today these words are fulfilled in your hearing ."  Today - and from now on - God's ancient promises are fulfilled.

Jesus understood his ministry in terms of setting people free. We really need to understand this. His life and death were about changing people's minds and hearts. His work of salvation directly addressed the issues of fear, ignorance, and darkness which clouded the religious thinking and images of the people.

The issue for Jesus is: stand up and be counted. Let the Spirit of God have its way with you - completely. Give all your mind and heart and soul to the "call" within you. This is conversion in its most radical form. This is conversion where it hurts most.  This is conversion where it counts most.

At the end of his life, there was no glory for Jesus, no resounding success. His dream was not realized. People simply did not convert. The powerful had their way with him. He broke down and cried over Jerusalem. In the garden the night before he died, he felt alone and helpless. Whipped, spat on, and mocked, he went to a shameful death abandoned by his friends and feeling abandoned even by God. And yet, this man reached deep into himself and refused to despair, refused to give up hope, refused to budge from his conviction that God is ultimately good, gracious, and to be trusted absolutely.

For most of us, the call to follow Jesus has not been very dramatic. There was no special moment, as in today's Gospel, when He revealed Himself to us and asked us to be His disciples. Most of us were baptized and raised as Catholics in our younger days. We went through the activities of prayer and church and sacraments. We learned the basics of Christian doctrine. And probably after some years of questioning and wandering, we reached a point in adult life when we began to take our Catholic faith seriously - when our minds and hearts were radically changed by the touch of the Spirit.

For us the process of conversion means taking to heart the words of Isaiah - words that Jesus applied to Himself. We, too, are called to bring good news to the poor. We have been sent to proclaim liberty and freedom to those suffering oppression of any and every kind. We have been chosen to bring sight to the blind and to proclaim God's favor to all.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon us, prompting us to show all humanity by our word and example that its journey in time is really a journey toward Christ - a mysterious, spiritual journey which begins, continues and ends in Him.  

Welcome!

eCatholicism.org is a collection of Internet Resources with up-do-date and current information regarding the Church's interaction with the modern world, politics and society.

Besides being a resource for information, eCatholicism.org will also offer our visitors the ability to proclaim the Good News in new ways, to serve as witnesses to the Saving Power of our God and to re-affirm their identity as Catholic communities to a world which desperately needs to hear the Gospel message - now more than ever before.

CURRENT REFLECTION

NOT AS THE WORLD GIVES...

bearingfruitIn these final weeks of Easter as we prepare for the feast of Pentecost, the Gospel readings for Sundays and weekdays are taken almost entirely from Jesus' farewell discourse at the Last Supper (John 13-17). Jesus is saying a very unique goodbye. He is leaving his beloved band of followers, but promises to be with them in the future in a new way. He's not just saying, "Cheer up, things won't be so bad." Actually things are going to get quite bad for him and them. But he is assuring them that the coming of the Holy Spirit will keep their relationship alive because the Spirit will be the bond that holds them together in love with him and his Father.

READ MORE

HEADLINES & ARTICLES OF INTEREST

  • WHEN TIMING IS PARAMOUNT
    WHEN TIMING IS PARAMOUNT

    What the public has not heard is a matching statement from the Church’s leaders spelling out the components of a “culture of life” that would protect and empower vulnerable women and children.
     

    MORE...
  • IF ROE IS OVERTURNED, WHAT SHOULD BE NEXT FOR THE PRO-LIFE MOVEMENT?
    IF ROE IS OVERTURNED, WHAT SHOULD BE NEXT FOR THE PRO-LIFE MOVEMENT?

    Now is the time to get to work & create a world that protects not just the unborn but also the equally human and valuable people carrying them.

    MORE...
  • CATHOLICS IN THE CROSSFIRE IN A POST-ROE WORLD
    CATHOLICS IN THE CROSSFIRE IN A POST-ROE WORLD

    The leaked draft opinion from the Supreme Court indicates that Roe will be overturned. While this is good news, there are things to consider.
     

    MORE...
  • THE APOSTLES, THE AMERICAN BISHOPS AND THE US SUPREME COURT
    THE APOSTLES, THE AMERICAN BISHOPS AND THE US SUPREME COURT

    The conflict on abortion is not so much about its morality but about determining what is the most appropriate law and policy to govern it.

    MORE...
  • FOR CELIBACY TO BE A GIFT, IT MUST BE GROUNDED IN REALITY
    FOR CELIBACY TO BE A GIFT, IT MUST BE GROUNDED IN REALITY

    For those discerning the priesthood and religious life, celibacy is often one of the main barriers to entry. As Pope Francis says, celibacy is a gift—but any gift can be misused.

    MORE...
  • ‘THE CHOSEN’ – WHEN JESUS BECOMES A TV SERIES
    ‘THE CHOSEN’ – WHEN JESUS BECOMES A TV SERIES

    The central idea of writing fiction that combines the essential episodes of the Gospelis legitimate in its approach as it reveals the humanity of both Jesus and the other characters.

    MORE...
  • CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE CLOSURE OPENS THE DOOR TO PARTISAN AND IDEOLOGICAL CHURCH COVERAGE
    CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE CLOSURE OPENS THE DOOR TO PARTISAN AND IDEOLOGICAL CHURCH COVERAGE

    There’s going to be a big gap in what our parishioners are going to know about what’s going on in the U.S. and throughout North America.

    MORE...
  • IN CLOSING CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE, U.S. BISHOPS UNDERMINE THEIR PASTORAL WORK
    IN CLOSING CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE, U.S. BISHOPS UNDERMINE THEIR PASTORAL WORK

    No editing, no accountability, no professionalism adds up to no credibility. And that is what the Catholic bishops are sacrificing...

    MORE...